A COVID-positive ride-share driver who sparked fears of an outbreak on the Gold Coast last month has been fined more than $ 4,000 for violating Queensland border restrictions.
Duran Raman, who was unvaccinated, tested positive for COVID-19 on the Gold Coast after returning from a trip to Melbourne and failing to get into mandatory hotel quarantine.
He remains in hospital on the Gold Coast.
It comes as Queensland registered zero new cases of COVID-19 in the community and a new positive case in hotel quarantine – a returned overseas traveler from Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the deadline has arrived for health workers to be fully vaccinated against the disease, and the state’s top doctors today welcome the ban on unvaccinated staff in public hospitals.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said more than 92 percent of staff had already been vaccinated.
But more than 7,000 employees had not yet confirmed their vaccination status, with about 4,000 to receive notices of screening today and be suspended on full pay.
“We have a number of employees who will now undergo a show-cause process,” she said.
“And we will put in place measures to deal with any labor shortages that may arise.”
Queensland Health CEO John Wakefield told staff that unvaccinated staff would not be allowed to work in a public hospital, and figures the department had given to ABC last week showed more than 2,300 employees had applied for exemptions from the mandate.
The Australian Medical Association of Queensland and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Queensland have supported the ban, saying the decision was in the interests of patients, staff and society, especially prior to the reopening of the border.
“We know the number of cases in Queensland will increase as people begin to move more freely around the country, and we have witnessed Delta outbreaks in hospitals elsewhere this year,” said AMAQ President Chris Perry.
“Patient and staff safety must be a top priority, and we supported the decision to mandate vaccination for public hospital staff from the outset.
“In fact, we would like the Public Health Order to be extended to cover all healthcare professionals, including those in private practice, which remains a gray area that leaves workers, employers and patients at risk.”
More on the way.
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