Queensland’s Covid-19 cases hit a new daily high of 5,699 as frustration rises over a buckling test regime.
Tuesday’s figures easily surpassed the previous daily record of 4,249 set on Monday, with Health Minister Yvette D’Ath reporting that 25,924 cases are now active in the state.
Hospitalizations for Covid fell from 147 to 170 within 24 hours at 7 p.m. last night, when there are 11 people in intensive care, up from 10.
Two people are on ventilators.
Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr John Gerrard said nearly one in four people in Queensland return a positive test result, indicating that there are many more cases of covid in the community than there were. reported.
Tuesday’s Covid press conference comes as anger mounts over a chaotic testing system, with people spending hours in line for PCR tests and waiting even longer for their results.
The low availability of RATs continues to frustrate Queenslanders, especially as the state moves away from more expensive PCR testing to ease the strain on the healthcare system.
Ms D’Ath said the situation was exacerbated by the unexpected disconnection of several private clinics due to staffing issues.
Many private pathologists will not be active until next week, despite the earlier publicity as such.
Meanwhile, private testing company Covax Australia was pulled from the Queensland Health website on Tuesday after a major issue saw hundreds of swabs lost as residents went without results to get another test.
Ms D’Ath offered a silver lining, indicating that 500,000 government-commissioned rapid antigen tests had arrived and would soon be available on public testing sites.
Home RATs will be provided from public testing sites, free to close contacts and people who are Covid-19 positive who require testing under a public health directorate.
Tests will arrive in smaller numbers over the coming week, with significant volume expected at the end of January.
Anyone with symptoms of Covid is advised to continue to attend a Queensland Health or private testing center to perform a PCR test.
Meanwhile, authorities did not yet have more details on the alleged Covid death of a Gold Coast man on Monday.
The vaccinated man died suddenly at home after testing positive for the disease via a rapid antigen test (RAT).
The coroner is currently investigating the details.