Yvette D'Ath Warns Third Covid Wave Has Yet To Peak Amid Mask Mandate Debate
Australia records 10,000th Covid death
NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Queensland's Health Minister Yvette D'Ath warns the third wave of Covid has not peaked yet, as the debate over re-introducing mask mandates continues.
“We’re hearing that this wave that we’re in, a third wave, could end up peaking higher than we saw the second wave and we are not at that peak yet,” she said on Sunday.
“So that means we’ve got extra strain on our system again.”
Stay up-to-date on the latest news with The National Briefing - keeping you in the loop with news as it hits
Ms D'Ath said Queensland Health would continue to follow the advice from the Chief Health Officer but reminded Queenslanders of their own personal accountability and choices.
"We do remind people as we go through this third wave that they can make those decisions for themselves," Ms D'Ath said.
"I know just about everyone carries a mask with them, whether it's in your car or your handbag.
"So if people feel like they're in a situation where they can't socially distance and they are particularly vulnerable then, you know, by all means, wear a mask," she said.
With over 1,500 staff furloughed she has urged for everyone's patience as the state’s hospitals and health workers were doing everything possible to to look after everyone in “these trying times.”
“We're going to be living with Covid for a very long time in society,” she said. “So we do need to move to a more business as usual and that means people taking their own responsibility."
Queensland’s CHO John Gerrard on Saturday told 4BC radio that reinstating mask mandates was being "discussed" with his counterparts from other jurisdictions.
"I can say that nationally, there is increasing pressure, there is a school of thought that we should be mandating masks again," he said.
"At this stage, no changes are being made," Dr Gerrard said.
It comes as Queensland recorded 3,971 Covid cases in the past 24 hours, with no reported deaths, while 630 people are in hospital with the virus, and 18 in ICU.
On Sunday Australia recorded its 10,000th death from Covid since the virus emerged two and a half years ago.
Get the latest breaking news from SCA newsrooms around Australia. Short, simple and everything you need to know.