Health chief: We could be the next Victoria

 

QUEENSLAND could easily find itself amid a terrifying second wave of COVID-19 if people don't take responsibility for their own future, says the state's chief doctor.

Labelling now a "critical juncture" in our fight against the deadly contagion, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young warns reckless, naïve, ignorant, arrogant and foolish behaviour could send the state down the same horrific road Victoria is on.

"We've reached a critical juncture in our fight against COVID-19," Dr Young writes in The Courier-Mail.

"Either we continue to contain the virus or we suffer a second wave.

"It's that simple. But it's up to you - not just us as a health authority - which way this goes."

The personal plea came as authorities brace for a potential coronavirus cluster in Brisbane's south after three women travelled to Victoria and managed to evade police for eight days in the community by allegedly lying on their border declaration forms.

Two of them have since tested positive to COVID-19 and a sister of those women, who didn't travel, also has the virus.

 

 

 

No new cases linked to the travellers had come to light by Thursday night, but authorities say the next two days will show how Queensland is faring.

In her piece, Dr Young revealed she had struggled with "sleepless nights and tearful moments" as she has issued more than 60 health directions to help keep Queenslanders safe, many of them unpopular.

But she said those rules "go only so far in combating ignorance, recklessness, arrogance and naiveté".

"While fines and penalties deter most people from wrongdoing, they cannot undo rash behaviour, which is a major threat to our ability to manage COVID-19," she said.

"We've seen that this week some people test positive after failing to provide accurate information.

"Selfish action can put your health at risk and it has also jeopardised the health of other Queenslanders, including their own families."

 

 

But she called on those criticising this foolish behaviour to also think about their own as she urged people to stay home when sick, wash their hands and socially distance.

"If you're criticising these people for their actions but have given fake names or false contact details at a café or restaurant, you're also a problem," she said.

Inconsiderate behaviour could be the difference between Queensland maintaining control of COVID-19 and "completely losing its grip on the virus", Dr Young said.

"What is happening in Victoria could very well happen here," she said.

Originally published as Health chief: We could be the next Victoria