Mask mandate could return for Queensland amid covid wave and the flu

‘Increasing pressureto bring back hated mask mandates across Australia amid looming third Covid wave and raging flu seasonwith hundreds of thousands of workers predicted to stay at home over the coming weeks

  • Mandated masks could return across Australia
  • Nation is facing potential double whammy of Covid and influenza this winter
  • 거의 250,000 Aussies have tested positive for Covid in the past week
  • Weekly influenza cases have already gone past the five-year ­average
  • Masks could become mandatory across Australia again as a looming Covid and flu crisis threatens to bring the nation to a standstill.

    거의 250,000 Aussies have tested positive for Covid in the past week, with states including 뉴 사우스 웨일즈, 빅토리아, 퀸즐랜드웨스턴 오스트레일리아, recording more than 8,000 cases in the past 24 시간.

    지난주, NSW recorded the most infections with 61,000, 동안 50,000 people tested positive for the virus in Victoria.

    And those figures are expected to get worse in the coming weeks as the winter chill grips the nation and new, highly infectious 오미크론 strain BA.5 becomes dominant.

    Australia is also now facing a double whammy with rising cases of the flu making this winter the worst influenza outbreak in years, causing chaos in the workforce.

    Now Queensland is tipped to be the first to bring back mask mandates in a bid to stem the tidal wave of infection.

    Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard revealed there had been ongoing talks with his interstate colleagues about mask mandates returning.

    ‘I can say that nationally, there is increasing pressure,’ 그 told 4BC’s Peter Fegan.

    ‘There is a school of thought that we should be mandating masks again.

    거의 250,000 Australians have tested positive for Covid in the past week, with states including NSW, 빅토리아, Queensland and Western Australia, recording more than 8,000 cases in the past 24 시간 (사진, members of the public walking in Brisbane wearing masks)

    거의 250,000 Australians have tested positive for Covid in the past week, with states including NSW, 빅토리아, Queensland and Western Australia, recording more than 8,000 cases in the past 24 시간 (사진, members of the public walking in Brisbane wearing masks)

    Hundreds of thousands of workers are likely to be forced to stay home during the next month, adding to the crippling staff shortages smashing many businesses nationwide.

    Influenza case data from the Health Department showed that the weekly figures have already gone past the five-year ­average and hit more than 147,000 this season.

    Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had celebrated the lifting of almost all mask rules earlier this year with an awkward slow-motion video on social media showing her ripping off her mask.

    But it now looks like the celebrations may have been premature and short-livedand may affect other states too.

    Queensland is considering bring back the hated masks mandates in a major U-turn in a bid to stem the worst effects of Covid (사진, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk removing her mask)

    Queensland is considering bring back the hated masks mandates in a major U-turn in a bid to stem the worst effects of Covid (사진, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk removing her mask)

    The mask mandate was lifted for airports last month, but passengers are still required to wear them when on the plane.

    Across the Sunshine State, masks are still required in healthcare settings, aged care, disability accommodation, prisons, detention centres, on public transport and in rideshares or taxis.

    Queensland recorded a 12 per cent rise in Covid-19 deaths over the past month, 와 199 fatalities in June compared to 177 5 월.

    Dr Gerrard said the current strains of the virus have been evading both vaccine and natural immunity, but stressed vaccination was still the best protection, with fourth boosters vital for those over 65.

    Those under 65 should have their three doses of a Covid vaccine, 그는 덧붙였다.

    ‘We are seeing the establishment of a new wave of covid, these BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants that are causing a significant wave at the moment,’ Dr Gerrard said.

    ‘Infection with this virus will be very common, you will know a lot of people infected with this strain of the virus in the coming weeks.

    There are currently about 600 people hospitalised with Covid across Queensland

    There are currently about 600 people hospitalised with Covid across Queensland

    ‘The majority of people that are being admitted to hospital in Queensland are people over the age of 65 who are not up to date with their vaccinations.

    ‘That has actually shocked me, that most (저것들의) people are not up to date with their vaccinations.

    Hospitalisations are set to spike significantly, 소련 붕괴 이후 모든 러시아 대통령의 베테랑이다, with numbers expected to soar from the current 600 people being treated in the state’s hospitals.

    그는 덧붙였다: ‘The vaccines do protect us, particularly if you’re up to date with boosters; they protect us against severe disease, that’s the most critical thing.

    Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard revealed there had been ongoing talks with his interstate colleagues about mask mandates returning

    Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard revealed there had been ongoing talks with his interstate colleagues about mask mandates returning

    Australian Chamber of ­Commerce and Industry chief executive Andrew McKellar said the current spate of Covid and flu-related absences, combined with existing national staff shortages, is ultimately causing a massive blow to productivity.

    ‘Some businesses that are ­already in a fragile position due to labour shortages will have no choice but to close their doors temporarily when illness hits,’ Mr McKellar said.

    ‘Staff shortages haven’t been more acute in living memory.

    ‘Small businesses suffered the shock of enforced shutdowns during the height of the pandemic…지금, they are the most vulnerable to staff absences if illness enters the workplace.

    Infectious diseases expert Dr Paul Griffin warned that widespread complacency with see the compulsory return of masks.

    ‘I’d like to think they won’t be required, but if they are then it might be something that comes back more broadly and then is reduced as we get a hold of things again,’ 그는 말했다.

    ‘But again, I hope that’s not something that has to happen.