D’Ath says she’s not sure what the federal government’s plan is to staff aged care centres once the Omicron waves hits its peak (Gerrard mentioned earlier this week this was expected in Queensland in late January or early February, with the peak of hospitalisations to occur a week later).
She says she will raise this with the federal government later this week.
Gerrard, the Queensland CHO, says he is concerned about vaccination rates in some First Nations communities. The state is actively pursuing measures to increase the rates, he says. No detail about what these measures are, or which specific communities are of concern.
Thank you for the graft this morning Caitlin.
I’m still bringing you bits and pieces from the Queensland Covid update. The health minister, Yvette D’Ath, is repeating her calls for the federal government to supply more RATs. She says:
Is there ready supply out there, that anyone who wants one can get one? No.
If the commonwealth can do anything more, to get more in the hands of Queenslanders, they have to do it, because businesses are suffering.
at 8.24pm EST
With that, I will pass you briefly to the highly capable Nino Bucci.
Queensland’s chief health officer, Dr John Gerrard, is speaking now.
He says triple-vaccinated people are nine times less likely to end up in hospital than the unvaccinated:
We now have enough data from around 500 patients to see some real trends in who’s ending up in Queensland hospitals and the importance of boosted vaccination is very clear.
If you are unvaccinated, you are nine times more likely to end up in hospital than if you have received a boosted vaccination – three doses of a vaccine.
at 8.09pm EST
Some 5,558 five-to-11 year olds received a booster shot yesterday, D’Ath says.
Thanks to all the mums and dads who are lining up with the kids.
Some 748,053 boosters have been administered across the state.
The state has recorded 22,069 new Covid cases, from 57,604 tests.
There are 30 people being treated in ICU including eight who are ventilated, up from 27 yesterday, and 525 Covid positive patients in wards. That’s up from 502 yesterday.
She says what is seen in hospitals and ICU reflects Queensland’s vaccination rates.
at 8.06pm EST
Have a peruse of Labor’s plan for disaster readiness, released today, here. It lays out up to $200m per year on disaster prevention and resilience. If matched by state, territory or local governments, that would equate to $400m annually.
It comes as opposition leaderAnthony Albanesecontinues his seventh day of his tour-de-Queensland (he isn’t calling it that). He is currently in Mackay, and due to have lunch with the Country Women’s Association imminently.
at 8.01pm EST
ACTU secretary Sally McManus has weighed in on tomorrow’s national cabinet meeting, which will discuss, among other things, new health advice relating to isolation requirements for Covid-affected workers.
Unions are prioritising making rapid antigen tests free and accessible.
at 7.55pm EST
The Australian Republic Movement has unveiled its plan for the country to find a new head of state, which would involve a national ballot, AAP’s Alex Mitchell reports.
The group says federal, state and territory parliaments should nominate a shortlist of candidates for head of state, which would then be put to a national ballot of voters. The federal parliament would be able to nominate up to three people while states and territories would nominate one person each.
The ballot winner would get a five-year term and would be responsible for appointing a prime minister with majority support in the House of Representatives, or calling an election if that support does not exist.
But the head of state would have no authority in day-to-day governance or passing laws. The model was developed across a two-year period, with more than 10,000 Australians consulted through surveys, polls and meetings.
ARM chair Peter FitzSimons said the “Australian Choice” model brought responsibility to citizens to elect their own leaders:
This will give all Australian voters a merit-based choice about who speaks for them as head of state. The decision will be in their hands, unlike now, where it is luck of the draw who we get from the British Royal Family.