Queensland health authorities warn of Covid surge: 'New battle'

Health authorities are warning Queensland to brace for 'very large' Covid cases in coming days as the state reports 3587 new cases.

Treasurer Cameron Dick said Queensland was "entering a new battle against Covid-19", urging Queenslanders to get vaccinated, wear masks and work from home where possible.

"We face the challenge of the virus as it continues to make its way through and across Queensland," he said on Sunday.

"Queensland has lead the world when it came to our response to Covid, but to maintain everything that we have achieved so far, we have to stay the course, we have to continue to adopt those practices that have kept us safe and will keep us safe in the future."

Queensland's Chief Health Officer John Gerrard gives a Covid update.
QLD Chief Health Officer Dr John Gerrard speaking at a press conference. Source: ABC/ YouTube

Severity is less but cases will increase, CHO says

The state’s chief health officer Dr John Gerrard the degree of contagiousness was one of the biggest issues health officials were facing and would contribute to the 'very large' case numbers.

He said Sunday's cases were not as much as he was anticipating, possibly due to less testing being done over the holiday period.

"So it won't be a surprise at all if in the next couple of days, we see a significant increase in cases as more samples are tested and more people come forward," Dr Gerrard said.

Sunday's figure was a jump from the day before, with 2266 cases reported in 12 hours. Queensland currently has 16,688 active cases of Covid-19.

There were 33,990 tests conducted and 112 people were hospitalised.

"The number of people getting infected will be substantial," Dr Gerrard said, adding that's why there are "two critical interventions" in place try and slow the spread of the virus and reduce the burden on hospitals.

"Those two key measures to wear masks indoors whenever possible and also to encourage everyone to work from home where that is possible," he explained.

People wearing masks ride a bike and a scooter in Brisbane.
Queensland recorded 3587 new Covid cases on Sunday as new mask restricitons are brought in to help slow the spread of the virus. Source: Getty Images

'Critical' for pregnant women to get vaccinated

Five Covid patients in Queensland are in ICU. Two of those were pregnant women with one who is not vaccinated.

Dr Gerrard called for pregnant women to get vaccinated, saying it was "critical" they do so.

"Many people are not aware that in pregnancy, your level of immunity is slightly suppressed," he explained.

"The theory is that it is to prevent the mother’s body from rejecting the baby as a foreign invader. So pregnancy very slightly lowers your level of immunity.

"This means pregnant women are more susceptible to a number of different infections, including Covid-19.

"That is why it is so critical pregnant women get vaccinated."

On Saturday, Queensland's Deputy Premier Steven Miles announced a new mask rule following the steady climb of Covid cases.

From Sunday, masks are required in "virtually all indoor spaces except when eating and drinking or when undertaking strenuous activity".

The rules were implemented to "slow the growing rate of new cases".

"They are already required in supermarkets and shops, public transport and ride share, and airports and on planes, and at cinemas and theatres," Mr Miles said.

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