Queensland to ‘rapidly return to normal’ as first 200 jabbed

Queensland’s chief health officer says there is probably no community transmission circulating in Australia on Tuesday as more than 200 people received their first COVID jab in the state, allowing life to “rapidly return to normal”.


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Anzac Day dawn services and marches will return to Queensland on April 25 after commemorations were disrupted last year because of pandemic restrictions.

Gold Coast University Hospital Pharmacy director Liz Coombes chaperones the Pfizer vaccine into the hospital on Sunday.

Gold Coast University Hospital Pharmacy director Liz Coombes chaperones the Pfizer vaccine into the hospital on Sunday.

Explaining why she had decided to recommended Anzac Day marches were safe to go ahead this year, Dr Jeannette Young said Queensland had seven active cases, compared with more than 270 on April 25 last year.

“We do not have community transmission here in Queensland today, and we probably do not have community transmission anywhere in the country today,” she said

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“That is what the difference is, that is why we can move forward and, quite rapidly really, return to normal.”

Ms Palaszczuk claimed her state could host traditional Anzac Day marches during the pandemic because she had made it a “priority”.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews said it was too early for his state to make a decision about whether they would allow mass gatherings to commemorate Anzac Day in April.

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Asked what made Queensland different, Ms Palaszczuk said “well, we have sat down and we have got on with it”.

“We have been making this a priority, I tasked this to my Assistant Minister, he reported back to me, we talked with [the chief health officer] and today we are able to make this announcement.

“People have got to put plans in place – Anzac Day is not too far away.”

Queensland recorded its 47th consecutive day of no locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Tuesday.

A total of 203 people were vaccinated at the Gold Coast University Hospital on Monday, the first day of the state’s vaccine campaign.

“By the end of this week, that number is expected to grow to 1000,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“By the end of October we aim to have vaccinated 4 million.

“Everybody naturally wants to know when their turn will come – the vaccine is in limited supply.

“Now is not the time for people to contact their GP or turn up in hospitals. We expect vaccinations for the general public will begin mid-year.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath assured: “Any Queenslander that wants a vaccination will receive one, when their turn comes.”

Ms Palaszczuk also called on the federal government to “just get on with it” and approve a proposed quarantine facility in southern Queensland.

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The proposed quarantine mega-hub on the outskirts of Toowoomba would be built by a private company.

Ms Palaszczuk said it is “all about whether the federal government is going to allow international flights to land there”.

“This is just ridiculous – the departments are talking at length about these issues and it makes logical sense,” she said.

“The federal government should just get on with it.

“In all honesty, this should have been set up by the federal government months ago – they have had a year to do this.”

The federal government has said the proposal lacked detail, including who would staff the facility.

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