Picture reveals true state of QLD panic

 

Queensland communities face an anxious wait and authorities will brace for the worst after two teenage girls traipsed across six different suburbs, five restaurants and bars and more for eight days while infected with COVID-19.

In queues not seen before in Brisbane, "extraordinary scenes" were witnessed yesterday as anxious residents queued at testing sites in the southeast of the state and a major tracing operation was underway that echoed scenes in Sydney's Potts Point.

In just one school alone visited by one of the women, Parklands Christian College, families linked to 734 students underwent testing with unbelievable queues stretching down the street in what has been described as a "COVID crisis".

Officials have called the situation the "perfect storm" that could force Queensland back into lockdown while aged care homes have already been ordered to shut as a precautionary measure.

RELATED: Teens who allegedly failed to quarantine identified

RELATED: Qld borders shut to Greater Sydney region

RELATED: NSW: Full list of venues hit with COVID-19 cases

 

People arrive to get COVID tested at the Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge. Picture: Jono Searle
People arrive to get COVID tested at the Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge. Picture: Jono Searle

The panic came after three new cases were confirmed in the state that involved a series of bungles by two "reckless" 19-year-old girls, Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu, who traipsed their way across Browns Plains in Logan to Southbank over several days while showing symptoms of the virus.

The pair were fined $4000 each overnight for allegedly lying to authorities on their border paperwork to skip mandatory quarantine.

The incident has caused anxiety for health and government officials due to the widespread of the places the women travelled.

Scores of staff and friends of the pair will be forced to isolate as authorities race to conduct contact tracing.

 

It was Queensland's first case of community transmission in 46 days as New South Wales and Victoria struggle to contain coronavirus outbreaks.

A 22-year-old woman, one of the girl's sisters, a close contact of the other two, also tested positive for coronavirus. She is not accused of any wrongdoing.

"It's just pathetic, obviously they've got no regard for any one else," one man at the testing site told 7 News. Another described it as "disgraceful".

 

The line for testing at the Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge. Picture: Jono Searle
The line for testing at the Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge. Picture: Jono Searle

Hundreds of tests submitted across the district yesterday are expected back today and should give officials an indication of what's to come and how far the virus has travelled.

One of the girls, identified as Olivia Winnie Muranga, is a cleaner at Parklands Christian College in Park Ridge, west of Brisbane, and did not self-isolate on her return to Logan, instead working three days at the private school. It has forced staff to isolate while another school, Chatswood Hills State School, was also closed for deep cleaning after one of the women worked at after school care.

 

The incident has caused not only panic for locals, but a political firestorm between borders.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk locked out people from Greater Sydney and said yesterday she was "absolutely furious this happened" as she announced tighter border restrictions with NSW.

Five million Sydneysiders will be banned from Queensland effective Saturday 1am.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian sniped back at the announcement, telling reporters, "it would have been nice if she told me, but that's fine".

Sky News host Alan Jones said Palaszczuk appeared to had "gone mad" over the decision to lock out people from Greater Sydney

"The reality is, in all of Australia we have 46 serious cases," Mr Jones said.

"Are we going to shut down everything every time there is a positive test".

 

 

The tit-for-tat is just the latest in the political pile, with PM Scott Morrison feuding with the WA government over its border closures along with a recent blame game between the Morrison and Andrews government.

Destination Gold Coast chairman Paul Donovan urged Ms Palaszczuk to boost penalties to a $50,000 fine and six months prison for anyone lying to health authorities, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin.

"If it's true what these ones are accused of doing, they should have the book thrown at them. You don't play with livelihoods and health," he is reported as saying.

 

The two 19-year-olds were unknowingly infected with the virus after a visit to Victoria and fined for lying to officials and skipping mandatory quarantine before roaming around town and causing a new wave of the panic.

Queensland's deputy police commissioner Steve Gollschewski, said the investigation was still ongoing but "the initial investigation is indicating that there were incorrect details on their declaration passes".

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young called the 19-year-olds "reckless" and said contact tracing was underway.

"While we are still determining where the virus may have been acquired, we are working closely with these women to gather necessary information, including other places they may have visited while infectious," she said

As urgent contact tracing continues, Queensland Health has released the times and dates the women visited venues across Brisbane's south.

 

Originally published as Picture reveals true state of QLD panic

Diana Lasu.
Diana Lasu.
Olivia Winnie Muranga.
Olivia Winnie Muranga.
Queensland border restrictions are getting tighter. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Queensland border restrictions are getting tighter. Picture: Nigel Hallett

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