Toddler dies from COVID-19 in Queensland hospital, winter wave hospitalisation forecast worse than initially predicted

Queensland authorities have confirmed a 23-month-old child died from COVID-19 as the premier revealed the state’s hospitalisation rate will likely peak at 1660 patients during the incoming COVID-19 wave.

Queensland Health said last night the toddler died at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, in Brisbane, on Sunday.

The department said it would not release further details at this stage, citing patient confidentiality.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaking about COVID-19 in July 2022
The Queensland premier has revealed the state’s hospitalisation rate will likely peak at 1660 patients during the incoming COVID-19 wave. (9News)

The child’s death is the youngest coronavirus fatality in Queensland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has revealed the state’s hospitalisation rate will likely peak at 1660 patients during the incoming COVID-19 wave, close to 50 per cent more severe than the previous one.

Health experts initially forecast a peak of 1000 Queenslanders hospitalised during the current wave, but the latest modelling shows that number is an underestimation.

“The peak is expected to be in late August, thankfully it does not predict an increase of patients in intensive care,” Palaszczuk said.

“This is very serious and I want Queenslanders to take it seriously.”

There are currently 1123 people in hospital with the virus, an increase of 99 patients in just 24 hours.

Another 21 people were reported to have lost their lives on Tuesday.

Queensland’s Australian Medical Association President, Dr Maria Boulton, said the Government was warned about the wave but didn’t prepare.

“I cannot tell you how many times I’ve met with them and asked for more resources for those on the frontline,” she said.

A toddler died from COVID-19 at the Queensland Children’s Hospital, in Brisbane. (Nine)

Yesterday, the AMA Queensland had an emergency meeting with the state’s deputy CHO, Dr Peter Aitken, to discuss long-term plans to ease the strain on hospital systems.

“We do need to prepare for the next wave and one of the solutions is to ensure we have enough hospital beds. But of course with that, we need more staff,” Boulton said.

The TGA has also declared a number of RAT tests will be removed from shelves over concerns they may not be detecting all COVID-19 strains.

COVClear COVID-19 Antigen Test, NowCheck, COVIFIND and BD Veritor System for Rapid Detection have all been deemed unreliable.

Queenslanders have been urged to get PCR tests instead.

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