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Coronavirus testing expanded in Qld


Coronavirus testing will be expanded in Queensland, with private pathologists now authorised to collect samples from anyone who may have been exposed.

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Pathologists across the state will send samples to be tested by Forensic and Scientific Services in Brisbane, Health Minister Steven Miles told parliament on Wednesday.

Testing is only effective once a patient has symptoms.

The expansion of collection points comes after the diagnosis of an eight-year-old boy at the Gold Coast University Hospital, where he had already been under quarantine.

He is the third confirmed case in Queensland and the 13th in Australia.

The boy had been travelling in the same group as a 44-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman from Hubei Province, the epicentre of the coronavirus in China.

Globally, more than 24,000 now have the virus, and 490 people have died.

Economically, the Queensland Premier says the virus is taking a toll.

“Our tourism industry is already suffering enormous losses because of cancelled bookings,” Palaszczuk said.

“The fishing industry, higher education, farming are all naturally concerned.”

Palaszczuk said she wrote to Prime Minister Scott Morrison seeking disaster relief funding arrangements, used in the aftermath of fires, cyclones and floods, but the request was denied.


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