Coronavirus crisis: Queensland authorities scramble as Uber driver so sick he can’t talk
A Gold Coast Uber driver who has had COVID-19 and been infectious in the community for 10 days is so sick he can’t communicate with authorities trying to trace his movements.
The man is his 30s, who is unvaccinated, tested positive after presenting to the Robina Hospital emergency department on Wednesday night.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the Broadbeach man had been infectious in the community for 10 days and arrived from Melbourne on October 10.
Authorities are struggling to work out where the man has been because he’s so ill, and because he hadn’t checked-in using a QR code since September 18.
“He is so sick, this is a man in his 30s, he is so sick that we’re having difficulties, talking to him and getting information from him,” Dr Young said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk understands the man is having oxygen, with Dr Young saying contact tracers are unable speak to him about where he has been.
“We don’t have venues at this stage because as I said he is so sick that he’s having difficulty communicating with us, and difficulty remembering as you can imagine,” the CHO said.
“So this is very difficult for him, but it’s also very difficult for the Gold Coast community because I can’t give you those areas (where he’s been).”
Ms Palaszczuk said it’s also unclear how the man was able to get into Queensland from Melbourne without quarantining and police are investigating.
She said there was no plan for a localised lockdown, but the case was a “wake up call” to the 156,000 eligible Gold Coasts who are unvaccinated.
“We need people to be vaccinated, if you are unvaccinated you are more than likely, ending up very, very sick from COVID or in hospital, or an ICU,” the premier said.
Dr Young also urged people on the Gold Coast to keep wearing masks and to get tested so authorities can determine if any transmission occurred in the man’s car while he worked as an Uber driver.
“And please don’t wait like this poor gentleman has, that he’s so breathless he can hardly talk to us. Come forward straight away (for) any symptoms, so that we can get you tested,” she added.
The man’s infection emerged after 7616 cases in the previous 24 hours, and is the first locally-acquired case to be infectious in the community in Queensland for 16 days.
Two interstate-acquired cases which were not infectious in the community were reported last Friday.
The case comes as the government prepares to set up vaccine clinics at 100 state schools this weekend before it eases restrictions on interstate travel in November and December.
Every Queenslander over 12 is eligible to be vaccinated.
The government will open up the state in three stages. The first stage begins on November 19, when 70 per cent of Queenslanders over 16 will have been double-dosed, allowing fully vaccinated people to do home quarantine.
On December 17, or earlier if Queensland hits 80 per cent before then, fully-vaccinated travellers can come without having to quarantine although they must still return a negative PCR test before arrival.
At 90 per cent, the state will scrap quarantine for all fully-vaccinated overseas arrivals.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails