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Top doc hopeful as we sneak up on peak: Fewer in hospital, but 15 more lives lost

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Queensland’s hospitalisation rates for COVID-19 have fallen significantly as the greater Brisbane area inches towards the peak and another 15 people lost their lives to the virus.

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And on Thursday, the State recorded another 11,600 new cases.

The Chief Health Officer, Dr John Gerrard, said hospitalisation rates were now falling, not rising as initially anticipated and he was now becoming more optimistic the State would not reach the “multiples of thousands” in hospitals.

On Thursday there were 829 people in Queensland hospitals, down from 889 on Wednesday and 928 on Tuesday. Dr Gerrard said most of the falls had been on the Gold Coast which had already reached its peak of the Omicron variant.

The Greater Brisbane and South East Queensland regions, are currently approaching the peak.

Dr Gerrard admitted he was feeling more optimistic as days go by.

“The projections for what we were expecting to see look like they probably won’t eventuate. I don’t want to jump the gun, I don’t want to jinx (it),” he said.

Dr Gerrard said Queensland’s widespread vaccination rates before the virus entered the State were the reason for the good news.

“There is no jurisdiction in the world that is doing as well as Queensland at the moment but it is not over yet,” Dr Gerrard said.

“Let’s not jump the gun yet, we are not there yet.”

And Dr Gerrard said the tail end of the current wave was likely to go on for some time yet, adding it was not quite as simply as equating it with the flu.

He said things were different than in 2020.

“This is a very different pandemic to the 2020 pandemic,” Dr Gerrard said.

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said she was now feeling more optimistic than she had in a long time.

D’Ath said that 91.9 per cent of Queenslanders had now received one dose of the vaccine and 89.31 per cent were double vaccinated.

But so fasr only 51.67 per cent had received a booster.

And D’Ath said the number of 12-15 year-olds double vaccinated – 70 per cent – was still too low given school students return to classrooms on February 7.

The Queensland figures come as New South Wales on Thursday recorded another 29 deaths and 17,316 new cases of the virus while Victoria had 15 deaths and 13,755 new cases.

 

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