World news – Queensland Premier cleared of coronavirus after losing voice as state records one new case


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been cleared of COVID-19 after losing her voice, as her second-in-charge calls out the Prime Minister for trying to tear down her Government ahead of the election.

Ms Palaszczuk had a noticeably croaky voice when she spoke to media yesterday and did not make any public appearances today.

While her Deputy Premier refused to comment on her health this morning, Treasurer Cameron Dick confirmed this afternoon that Ms Palaszczuk was in fact tested for COVID-19, and the result had come back negative.

« She’s done the right thing, she’s listened to the health advice, she’s obeyed the science and the science that informs the health advice, » Mr Dick said.

It comes as the state recorded one new coronavirus case in the past 24 hours — a male health care worker in his 60s, linked to the cluster at Ipswich Hospital, west of Brisbane.

« There is no risk of community transmission from that particular case, and that’s precisely what we want to see here on in, » Health Minister Steven Miles said.

He said a drop in testing rates had since rebounded with more than 11,000 tests conducted state-wide in the last 24 hours.

Mr Miles came to the defence of Ms Palaszczuk this morning after the Prime Minister made another dig at Queensland’s border restrictions, this time over whether he would be allowed into the state to watch the AFL Grand Final.

Mr Miles said Mr Morrison was ignoring health advice to deliberately and unfairly criticise Queensland’s border restrictions.

« Why Scott Morrison is so fixated on Queensland, so determined to tear down our Premier — you’d have to ask him that.

« But I understand that from the reports, that it was deliberate strategy concocted by the Prime Minister’s office, a strategy developed by him and by them, and one that was then directed to Deb Frecklington and one that she has been carrying out along with Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton. »

Mr Miles said the Prime Minister would not be getting any special treatment if he wanted to watch the AFL.

« So I’m very sure that he’d understand — he would not himself ask for special treatment.

Speaking on Nova this morning, Mr Morrison was asked if he would be required to pay $2,800 to quarantine for a fortnight if he wanted to watch the Grand Final in Brisbane.

« Well I’m the same as anyone else, that’s what everyone has to do when they go to Queensland, » he said.

« I mean it’s not like I’m a Hollywood movie star or run the AFL or anything. »

The comment comes after the Australian Border Force granted US actor Tom Hanks a quarantine exemption earlier this month.

Mr Morrison said he hoped borders would be open in all states and territories by Christmas.

« I mean there’s a lot of talk in Queensland at the moment with the election on so I sort of take that for what it is, but I think we will make progress toward that, » he said.

Mr Miles said the criteria used by Queensland authorities in deciding hotspots and restricted locations was that of the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

He said the Government was considering health advice on whether to allow those living in the ACT to enter Queensland.

Breaking down the latest news and research to understand how the world is living through an epidemic, this is the ABC’s Coronacast podcast.

Mr Miles said they would be looking for 28 days of no community transmission outside of quarantine.

« We will look at the feasibility of the ACT given their long period of no transmission, but that’s challenging given they’re enveloped by New South Wales.

« We want to see those borders open up just as soon as it’s safe to do so, » he said.

He accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of rejecting the AHPPC’s advice in attempting to design a separate definition of a hotspot.

« If you’re going to have experts, then you have to at least consider their advice, » Mr Miles said.

« You can’t reject their advice before it even gets considered by national cabinet, which appears to be what Scott Morrison has done here. »

This service may include material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service which is copyright and cannot be reproduced.

AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time which is 10 hours ahead of GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)


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