'TAKING THE PISS': Queensland holds bizarre Covid press conference

·4-min read

Queensland's Covid update has raised a few eyebrows for its strangely cheerful address as the state's health authorities look to stifle a new Delta cluster.

The state recorded no new Covid cases on Sunday after five local cases across two households were announced 24 hours earlier.

With the state government clearly pleased with the lack of infections recorded after the cluster was detected, Sunday's address was held at a kite festival with officials celebrating by aptly tucking into the sweet treats on offer.

"I think the health minister has just bought us a couple of donuts to celebrate what is, a great result and as a credit to how Queenslanders do as we asked them to do," Deputy Premier Steven Miles said. 

Queensland held a press conference at Redcliffe KiteFest and announced no new Covid cases. Source: ABC
Queensland held a press conference at Redcliffe KiteFest and announced no new Covid cases. Source: ABC

He appeared in a jovial mood as he held the hand of his young daughter with the bright colours of the Redcliffe kite festival behind.

Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young and Health Minister Yvette D'Ath also spoke at the press conference, casually dressed and sporting summer hats for protection from the sun.

Despite the good news, Mr Miles did warn Queensland is "not out of the woods yet" and the situation needs to be monitored. The previous day Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk could not rule out lockdown and said the next 48 hours would be critical.

Ms D'Ath boasted Queensland is the only state on Australia's east coast that can hold such an event.

"An event like this could not be held in any other state or territory on the east coast mainland Australia right now, we are the only state open across the East Coast," she said. 

"We can hold events like this because Queenslanders have done the right thing."

Press conference 'taking the piss'

Given the casual and somewhat celebratory nature of Queensland's press conference, people stuck in lockdown in other parts of the country were watching on in envy.

Annastacia Palaszczuk warned health authorities would act quickly and impose a lockdown if necessary. Source: AAP
Annastacia Palaszczuk warned health authorities would act quickly and impose a lockdown if necessary. Source: AAP

"Queensland just twisting the knife by holding their daily presser at a Kite Festival in casual clothes with their kids in tow," someone said on Twitter.

"Queensland are just taking the piss now holding their press conference at a mask-less carnival,' another person said. 

"Good for them, but it stings a little watching from Melbourne. We could have all been living like this had it not been for Scomo & Gladys."

"Don't rub it in," another added.

Many, however, were happy Queensland can continue life without a lockdown.

"Well done Queensland...from a very jealous Sydneysider," one person said on the ABC's live stream of the press conference.

But others believed the celebrations could be premature, particularly due to the highly-infectious nature of the Delta variant.

"I’m so glad we can prioritise things like football and festivals over lockdowns.. not," one person wrote.

Health authorities confirm outbreak came from NSW

At the press conference, Dr Young said she was confident she knew how the family of five became infected with Covid.

The children were exposed to a visitor when they saw their father on Father's Day, then returned to their mother's home.

The man, who entered Queensland with two others on September 5, has since returned to NSW.

All three men are believed to have crossed the border with the correct passes but police are investigating.

Of the trio, two have since tested positive and Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young is now confident they are the source of the cluster.

"There's been minimal exposure from those two people, but people just need to be cautious," Dr Young said.

"We know that the person who did infect the 13-year-old girl had very little contact."

One of the men visited places in the Gold Coast area, prompting authorities to ask anyone with symptoms to come forward for testing.

There were more than 12,000 people tested on Saturday, while about 18,000 Queenslanders also got a COVID-19 vaccine dose.

The Queensland government announced a vaccine mandate for all hospital workers and ambulance staff.

Health Minister Yvette D'Ath said every worker must have had their first dose by the end of September and be fully vaccinated by the end of October.

"I know that's only three weeks away. But we're confident we can get there because the majority of our workforce is already vaccinated," she said.

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