Qld premier denies alarmism over kids

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The Queensland premier has denied "scaremongering" about children and COVID-19 amid a war of words about reopening the country.

Annastacia Palaszczuk read out news articles about rising child hospitalisation rates in the US in parliament on Thursday.

The premier denies she's scaremongering, insisting she wants an "educated and responsible conversation" about the impacts of opening on children under 12 who aren't vaccinated.

"Not at all, not at all, you know I think this is about protecting Queenslanders, and having a conversation about what will we need to do," Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday.

"And you know, there's measures that other countries are putting in place. For example if the Delta variant is going rampant through a particular region or a city, the children in primary school wearing masks as a precaution. So what do we need to do?"

Ms Palaszczuk also tweeted on Thursday that up to 80 people could die a day or 2240 a month if the country opens up with 70 per cent of eligible people vaccinated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that could only happen if vaccination stopped and no public health measures were in place.

"To suggest that that's what the national plan is would be a complete misreading of it," he told reporters.

New modelling on hospital capacity was also set to be presented to national cabinet on Friday.

There has been concern that Queensland's strained public health system could not cope with a large outbreak if it reopens at 80 per cent.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said capacity had been ramping up in all states since February 2020.

"All of the states and territories are capable of stepping up," he said.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles earlier said the Commonwealth was trying to simplify the conversation to being about opening at 80 per cent vaccination coverage or never opening.

Queensland's vaccination coverage, which is currently 51.6 per cent for one dose and 32.9 per cent fully vaccinated, is the second lowest in the country.

He also accused the federal government of a "pile on" against his state because of the upcoming federal election.

"It's clear the prime minister has both his eyes on his own election, and no eyes on the outbreak ripping through Sydney right now," Mr Miles said.

Earlier, the deputy premier said national cabinet needed come to an agreement on the number of deaths leaders were willing to accept to reopen.

"That's effectively the decision that needs to be made here," Mr Miles told ABC radio on Friday.

"The modelling calculates how many people die under each scenario, and that's the challenging decision that our leaders need to make, and I don't think they can be simplified the way the prime minister has tried to."

Mr Miles said until a clear decision had been made by national cabinet, Queensland couldn't commit to reopening when other state leaders may be willing to accept more cases, hospitalisations, ICU cases and deaths.

The deputy premier said lockdowns would be less likely at 80 per cent vaccination coverage, but decisions on borders would depend on circumstances in other states.

Mr Morrison said he could envisage opening international borders to states that have reached 80 per cent, even if other states did not want to open.

"Yes, I can, the national plan sets out that clearly," the prime minister said.

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