50 new cases pushes Queensland tally to 493

 

The number of coronavirus cases in Queensland has jumped again, with 50 new cases taking the state's total to 493.

It comes following the death of a Toowoomba man yesterday, the state's second fatality.

Garry Kirstenfeld, 68, had been on the Ruby Princess cruise ship which docked in Sydney on March 18.

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He is understood to have had a chronic respiratory condition which put him at increased risk from the pandemic coronavirus strain. He died in Toowoomba Hospital. His wife and other members of his immediate family are in isolation.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles said thousands of people across the state had been tested for the virus.

"As of this morning we've tested 40,946 people and it is that testing, that world best level of testing that is allowing us to contain this virus," he said.

"Right now we have no Queenslanders in intensive care which is much lower than level of hospitalisation and intensive care seen anywhere else in the world and that's precisely because of our high level of testing."

Dr Miles said it was crucial Queenslanders complied with the social distancing and quarantine guidelines put in place.

"Whether you're young or old rich or poor we need every single Queenslander to comply with these rules," he said.

"The spread of the virus from the restaurant at Noosa that we learnt about yesterday underlines just how easily this can spread if we have groups together and especially if we have groups together from different parts of the state.

"That's why that limit on gatherings is just so crucial."

It comes as the State Government announced that Queensland schools will close from next week to all but the children of essential services.

Schools will move to pupil-free days from next week, although anyone with a job would still be able to send their children to school.

 

Originally published as 50 new cases pushes tally to 493


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