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Worst is now behind us: Queensland throws off Covid's fourth wave


Queensland has emerged from its fourth Covid wave following a rapid decline in active infections, with a bold prediction the worst of the pandemic may be behind us.

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The drop in active case numbers will also see the state’s Covid traffic light system return to green for the first time since the emergency alert threat was escalated on November 10.

The revised classification means the state is now regarded as operating in an environment of low transmission risk, where people still need to practice good hygiene, isolate if positive and wear a mask if required by a health care provider.

Acting Premier Steven Miles, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath and chief health officer Dr John Gerrard declared the fourth wave, which promised to ruin the Christmas holidays of thousands of Queenslanders, officially over.

A 39 per cent fall in active cases over the last two weeks is believed responsible for today’s declaration, although came with caution from D’Ath.

“But we will see more waves well into the future and we will continue to manage them under the traffic light system,” she said.

Reported active Covid cases peaked on December 20 at 16,095, which as of Wednesday, January 18 had fallen to 5904.

Gerrard said cases continued to fall rapidly with 806 new cases reported.

Only 318 people remain in hospital with Covid, down from a peak of 599 on December 20, with no people reported as being on life support in intensive care.

Gerrard said the fourth wave was significantly less severe than previous waves, a trend he hoped would continue.

He estimated that 80 per cent of Queensland’s population had contracted Covid since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

“The majority of us now have hybrid immunity, a combination of vaccination and natural immunity,” he said.

“At least 80 per cent of the people who reported with Covid in the fourth wave were getting it for the first time.

“This year we would expect that number to decline. Our general hope is that these waves will become less severe, less frequent and ultimately seasonal.”



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