Two COVID-19 ship cases to be evacuated to Cairns
QUEENSLAND'S Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has confirmed two people who tested positive to COVID-19 while on a cargo ship off the Far North coast will be transferred to Cairns.
Two Weipa Hospital nurses were flown to a bauxite ship bound for the Cape York mining town earlier this week when two crew members starting show symptoms of coronavirus. The crew members later tested positive.
Dr Young confirmed the plan was to evacuate the workers to Cairns from the foreign-flagged ship, which she hoped would happen today.
"We do have two cases on a ship off Weipa that we're just working through," she said.
"So the plan is to evacuate them when we're able to through to Cairns and look after them there.
"We've done multiple times now, we've had cases on ships and we've worked with Maritime Safety Queensland and we've worked with the ship of course to sort out what is best for the crew."
She said as the cases had been tested offshore, they were yet to be added to the state's tally.
"We'll count them as soon as they're onshore in Queensland," she said.
Dr Young said the state was prepared for more similar cases given the high number of cases around the world.
"We have quarantine services in place at our hotels so that we quarantine anyone coming from overseas," she said.
"And we've been doing a lot of work with all of those freight ship and other ships that are coming into our waters around Queensland.
"So that will of course continue to keep Queenslanders safe."
The Far North's official current tally is 39 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, 38 of which are listed as recovered.
The most recent case was a man who had returned from Papua New Guinea and who was in hotel quarantine.
Queensland recorded no other virus cases overnight, with restrictions set to ease on outdoor gatherings.
Originally published as Two COVID-19 ship cases to be evacuated to Cairns