Residents of Greater Brisbane are facing the possibility of spending their second Easter in a row in lockdown, as two “concerning” clusters continue to grow.
Eight new COVID-19 cases were detected in the community as of Tuesday, and health authorities now believe the 15 locally acquired cases of recent weeks are related to two “distinct” clusters, both of which have originated from the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Monday that Greater Brisbane, encompassing Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Redlands and Moreton Bay council areas would be locked down from 5pm for three days.
Until 5pm Thursday, the city’s 2.5 million residents are only able to leave their home to buy essentials, to obtain medical care or provide support, to exercise outdoors, or to work and study if not able to do so at home.
On Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk would not rule out the possibility the lockdown could be extended, potentially through the Easter long weekend.
“In terms of the Greater Brisbane region, we just have to take this day-by-day,” she said.
“I said that we will give the most up-to-date information we can ever single morning. Do we expect to see more cases? Probably.
“The big question will be whether or not we see unlinked community transmission.”
When pressed on whether the lockdown might be extended until Tuesday to “give people more certainty”, the Premier said it all “depends on what we see over the next 24-48 hours.”
“The next two days are critical for our contact tracers to get on top of this,” ‘she said.
“If anyone out there is feeling sick and has any symptoms, please go and get tested. We need to eliminate any unlinked community transmission out there.”
The state’s chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the entire state needed to be on guard, given how widely some of the cases had travelled.
“It’s too early to decide what may or may not happen,” Dr Young said.
“We’ll just have to see how many cases we have and whether or not they’re linked, and whether or not they’re in quarantine at the time that they’re diagnosed.”
The rest of Queensland is currently subject to a mask mandate and other restrictions, including a 30-person cap on at-home gatherings, and seating orders for patrons at hospitality venues.
Aged care facilities, hospitals and disability support services around the state are locked down.