QLD cases jump 13 to total of 934

Queensland's coronavirus cases have increased by another 13 overnight, taking the state total to 934.

Queensland Health has confirmed the increase - showing the virus' spread has flattened in recent days following tough social distancing regulations.

A total of 42 people are in hospital, with 11 of those in ICU on ventilators.

A further two are not requiring ventilators.

Of the state's 934 cases, 119 Queenslanders have contracted COVID-19 from cruise ships.

It comes as the National Cabinet is not ready to discuss relaxing any of the unprecedented coronavirus social distancing measures despite health authorities hailing further signs the coronavirus curve is flattening.



Health modelling, which is expected to be a key focus of the 10am cabinet meeting, has been trending downwards, with just 108 confirmed new cases yesterday, down from a peak of nearly 500 on March 28.

But it is understood National Cabinet members are waiting for a more sustained fall in new infections and deaths before considering any changes to social distancing rules.

The National Cabinet is also expected to provide modelling and data it has been relying on to introduce the most harsh restrictions ever placed on Australians.

It had been facing increasing calls to release the modelling, and Prof Kelly said it would show when particular measures were introduced and how they affected the curve.

"I think we can also look at those particular measures that have been brought into play as to how, which of the ones that could be removed early," he said.

"You would need to look at how that might affect the curve and we are getting more information every day in relation to that, partly from the modelling elements, but also from the data we are collecting every day."



But he also flagged that the big development which could lead to a quick reduction in social distancing measures was a successful vaccine.

"We don't know when that may be available, but as we get more information about that in the coming days, weeks and months, that will also help us with our decision-making," Prof Kelly said.

There were 448 COVID-19 patients in hospitals yesterday, with 96 in intensive care units and 35 on ventilators.

Prof Kelly warned that some of the patients on ventilators were in their 30s.

"So this is not just an old person's disease," he said.

He said although 41 people had died he did not believe Australia was in the same perilous position as the US.

"We must remember it is a terrible and tragic scene we are seeing in many parts of the US now in terms of the sheer numbers of cases," he said.



"In total, the ones in hospital, the ones in intensive care and many, many deaths.

"Keeping up with that would be extraordinarily difficult.

"We are not in that situation in Australia.

"The things that we have done in the past two weeks to prevent ourselves going into that situation have been successful up till now and we have to redouble our efforts to make sure that doesn't happen in the future."

Prof Kelly's comments came as a former head of the federal Health department said Australia's distancing policy had worked so well we may not need the 5000 extra intensive care beds governments are scrambling to establish.

"At current rates of new cases, Australia's health system capacity will not be overwhelmed, even without the potential expansion of intensive care beds that state governments have announced," Prof Stephen Duckett said in a new online publication.

However he also cautioned against relaxing restrictions.

"We may need to wait another week or so to see whether the local infection trend starts to reduce too," he said.










Originally published as Curve flattens but we must keep our distance

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