Queensland’s Chief Health Officer says the state has handled the COVID-19 pandemic as well as any jurisdiction in the world, and can be optimistic about coping with the upcoming peaks of the Omicron variant.
This comes as Queensland recorded another 15 deaths with COVID-19, all of them people aged from their 60s to their 90s.
There were 11,600 new coronavirus cases detected in the state in the latest reporting period.
People with COVID account for 829 patients in hospital, with 49 of those in intensive care. Fifteen of those are on ventilators.
There are 69,350 active cases in the state, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said of the 15 people who died, two were in their 60s, nine in their 80s and four in their 90s.
Four were unvaccinated, four had received their first dose, five were double dosed and only two had received their booster shots.
Dr Gerrard said the hospitalisation rate in the state was improving.
“Again, a very significant fall,” he said.
“Now most of that fall has been on the Gold Coast as expected.
“The Gold Coast again is very clearly peaking and is on its way down.
“We believe the Greater Brisbane area is approaching its peak right now.”
Ms D’Ath said that was positive news.
“We are seeing some stabilising of hospitalisation across our Brisbane hospitals, particular Ipswich and Logan I believe, so that’s a good sign,” she said.
“[It] doesn’t mean the peak’s over.”
Catch up on the main COVID-19 news from January 27 with a look back at our blog
‘What we’re seeing is very positive’
Dr Gerrard said the reason the state had coped with the Omicron strain so well was because the vaccination rate was high when the state opened its borders.
Queensland has 89.31 per cent of people aged 16 and over who are double vaccinated.
“[I’m] definitely becoming more optimistic as the days go by,” he said.
What you will need in your COVID preparation kit
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer says there will be “thousands of cases” of coronavirus in the state in coming weeks, so the state government is urging you to put together a COVID preparation kit.
He said case numbers appeared to be lower than had been predicted.
“I don’t want to jump the gun. I don’t want to jinx us,” the Chief Health Officer said.
“But certainly, what we’re seeing is very positive here and I think I can say the reason for this is very straightforward. It’s widescale vaccination.
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The Health Minister also encouraged Queenslanders to keep coming forward to get their vaccination shots, while Dr Gerrard reminded people that booster shots were crucial in fighting the virus.
“I’m very pleased that we have one-and-a-quarter million people in Queensland who have received boosters,” he said.
“Boosters that we know are particularly important for those who are most vulnerable those in the older age groups.
“But anyone who has received their their second dose and the last was more than three months ago is eligible to receive a booster, and I encourage you to go out and get one because there is capacity in the system.”