Gold Coast Uber driver tests positive for Covid: 'So sick, can hardly talk'

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Queensland has broken its 15-day streak without recording a Covid case after an Uber drive in his 30s tested positive for the deadly virus. 

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the state's Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man was so sick he could hardly speak. 

"This is a man in his 30s. He is so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him," she said. 

Authorities are working to understand his movements but believe he is from Melbourne and entered the state earlier this month. 

He has not used a QR check-in for over a month, Dr Young said.

Queensland Chief Health officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged those on the Gold Coast to be vigilant for symptoms. Source: Getty
Queensland Chief Health officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged those on the Gold Coast to be vigilant for symptoms. Source: Getty

"He started to develop symptoms on the 11th of October, which means his infectious period goes back to the 9th of October. We believe he was in Melbourne at that stage," Dr Young said. 

"He presented to the emergency department at Robina Hospital yesterday where they tested him, and it came back positive on two separate tests."

Health authorities are urging those on the Gold Coast to get tested immediately if they have symptoms at all. 

"Please don't wait like this poor gentleman has, and is so breathless that he can hardly talk to us. Come forward straightaway," Dr Young said.

The man, who is unvaccinated, has been infectious in the community for 10 days.

"We are working very closely with Uber to get information about whether he has had any drives during the time he was infectious."

Uber case is a 'wake-up call': Premier 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the case emerged after 7,616 tests in the 24 hours to 6.30am on Thursday.

Calling for a greater vaccination rate, the premier said residents can't be complacent despite the state's long run without any major outbreaks.

"This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast," she said.

The man is the first locally acquired case to be infectious in the community in Queensland for 16 days.

However, two interstate-acquired cases, which were not infectious in the community, were reported last Friday.

The government is preparing to set up 100 clinics at state schools this weekend before it eases restrictions on interstate travel in November and December.

"This Super Saturday vaccination blitz will be our state's largest yet," Ms Palaszczuk tweeted earlier on Thursday.

"We're working hard to make it as quick and easy as possible for all Queenslanders to get vaccinated."

There's still concern about some regions, including the far north, where vaccination rates are lagging behind those in the southeast.

with AAP

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