A truck driver was infectious for two days in Queensland as the state announced no new community-acquired cases.
The state is breathing a sigh of relief after an unvaccinated rideshare driver was discovered to be infectious for 10 days on the Gold Coast yesterday.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said a truck driver with one dose of vaccine had been infectious in Queensland on October 18 and 19 and was now back in Victoria.
She said yesterday’s case which raised fears of another lockdown in Queensland, was ‘very unwell’.
‘They are keeping a very close eye on him. He is on high flow oxygen and he will probably need to go into intensive care,’ Dr Young said.
‘That is terrible. He is a very young, fit man who was not vaccinated and he is now extremely sick.
Dr Young said Duran Raman had been so sick Queensland Health did not yet have exposure sites base don his movements.
‘He was so sick that he probably has not been out in the community so we don’t have exposure venues for him other than his place of residence,’ Dr Young said.
‘Anyone who lives there has been told any symptoms at all to get tested but we believe they are only casual contacts because he has been so sick he has been at home.’
New exposure sites announced last night in Stafford and Acacia Ride were visited by the truck driver, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said five cases were detected in hotel quarantine.
A cinema, a barber shop and an entire beachside resort went on urgent Covid alert yesterday, with hundreds plunged into isolation after an infected Uber driver spent 10 days in the community – sparking fears Queensland could be forced into another lockdown.
Duran Raman, aged in his 30s and unvaccinated, tested positive to the virus on Wednesday, bringing an end to the state’s 15-day Covid-free streak.
Health authorities said the exercise enthusiast, who is ‘so sick he can barely speak’, has lived in a private resort in Broadbeach for about 12 months and was out and about around the Gold Coast while infectious.
Ms Palaszczuk said 73.66 per cent of Queenslanders had now received a first dose of vaccine, with 58.72 per cent now fully vaccinated.
Duran Raman, aged in his 30s, (pictured) was infectious in the community for up to 10 days after returning from a trip to Melbourne on October 10
Guests, residents, and workers who have been at Island Beach Resort in Broadbeach (pictured) anytime from Saturday through to Tuesday have been plunged into isolation
Adding to the difficulty of their task, Mr Raman – who was unvaccinated and shared anti-vax videos over his social media accounts – allegedly has not used Queensland’s QR check-in system for over a month, according to health officials.
Of the new exposure sites, authorities are most concerned about Gilly Barber in Richlands and Stafford’s Hoyts Cinema, which were both visited on October 18 between 5.10pm to 6pm and 7.15pm to 10.45pm, respectively.
Both venues have been deemed close contact sites, with anyone who was there during the time window of concern urged to immediately isolate, get tested, and quarantine for 14 days.
Freedom Fuels, in Acacia Ridge, is now considered a casual contact site on Tuesday 19, between 6.25pm-640pm.
The same applies to Mr Raman’s home, Island Beach Resort, which is the subject of four alerts after residents were exposed all day on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Hoyts Cinema in Stafford (pictured) has been declared a close contact venue for Monday October 18, between 7.15pm to 10.45pm
Anyone who visited Freedom Fuels in Acacia Ridge (pictured) on Tuesday is considered a casual contact
Everyone who was at the resort or petrol shop during those times will need to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result – including cleaners, front desk staff, and guests.
Mr Raman, who was a member of gym EMF Performance centre, which has branches across the city, tested positive at Robina Hospital on Wednesday before Ms Palaszczuk announced the new case on Thursday.
It is alleged he checked out of the hospital before the results came back and had to be tracked down at his home by police and health authorities when he could not be contacted, the Courier Mail reports.
Police arrived at the resort, where he lives alone, about 5.30pm on Wednesday and he was taken to Gold Coast University by an ambulance.
The gym junkie is no so sick with coronavirus it has proven difficult to get information on his movements since he returned from a trip to Melbourne on October 10.
Mr Raman shared his reaction to a Victorian Covid press conference from the start of September in which Premier Dan Andrews announced some eased restrictions.
He captioned the video posted to his Instagram: ‘Mr Gronk. A dead set gronk’.
In the conference, the premier announced playgrounds would be reopening and authorised workers would once again be permitted in homes to provide services.
‘Yay. The playgrounds are going to reopen. Wow,’ Mr Raman is heard saying.
‘Playgrounds and looking after kids, you f***ing gronk. You’re a gronk, look at ya.’
QUEENSLAND’S NEW COVID-19 EXPOSURE SITES
Anyone who visited the following venues is considered a close contact and should get tested and isolate for 14 days, regardless of result:
Stafford: Hoyts Cinema – Monday 18 October, 7.15pm – 10.45pm
Richlands: Gilly Barber – Monday 18 October, 5.10pm – 6pm
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times listed is a casual contact who must immediately get tested and isolate until a negative result is received:
Acacia Ridge: Freedom Fuels – Tuesday 19 October, 6.25- 6.40pm
Broadbeach: Island Beach Resort – all day on Saturday October 16, Sunday October 17, Monday October 18, and Tuesday October 19
Anyone who attended the following venues at the times is considered low risk and should get tested at their earliest convenience, but do not need to isolate until a negative result is received:
Stafford: Hoyts Cinema – Monday October 18, 7pm – 11 pm
Queensland Police are currently investigating whether the Broadbeach man had tried to enter the state unlawfully after being turned away at the border.
It’s believed the ride-share driver also visited Sydney in late September.
‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that [he was] not vaccinated.’
‘We are a little bit concerned about this person that has been infectious in the community and if you have any symptoms whatsoever, now is the time to get vaccinated.’
Mr Raman, who has also played for local AFL team Broadbeach Cats, reportedly had a brush with the law earlier this year when he was charged with low-range drink driving and driving unlicensed.
He pleaded guilty to both charges in Southport Magistrates Court in June and was fined $1000 and banned from driving for two months.
The new case immediately raised fears of a repeat of Sydney’s most recent Delta outbreak, which began with an infected limousine driver from the Northern Beaches.
It was one of five new cases reported on Thursday, the others acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine facilities.
The building manager of the Broadbeach resort, Greg Jermyn, told the ABC the driver returned a week ago and lived in a part of the resort with no other residents.
Mr Raman posted his reaction to a Covid press conference from the start of September in which Mr Andrews announced some eased restrictions, labelling the premier a ‘gronk’
‘We’ve got bookings over the weekend. I’m just ringing people and advising them that we’ve had a Covid case so you’re better off to organise to go somewhere else. As if it’s not bad enough as it is,’ he said.
Mr Raman developed symptoms on October 11, the day after he returned from Melbourne, meaning his infectious period dates back to October 9.
‘He is so sick. This is a man in his 30s. He is so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him,’ Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.
‘We are working very closely with Uber to get information about whether he has had any drives during the time he was infectious.
‘We don’t have venues at this stage because he is so sick and having difficulty communicating with us and difficulty remembering, as you can imagine.’
Uber were quick to issue a statement that said the man had not driven with the service since September 19.
‘We work with public health authorities in each state, and have processes in place to temporarily remove an individual’s access to the Uber app if authorities report an infection,’ it told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk (pictured) said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated’
The rideshare driver went to Robina Hospital emergency department yesterday, having become increasingly unwell following his return from Melbourne on October 10
‘We may also limit other individuals’ access to the app if health authorities advise there is a risk.’
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged anyone who had been in the Broadbeach or greater Gold Coast areas since October 11 to monitor for symptoms.
‘It is really important, please use the QR check-in,’ she said, adding compliance in those areas ‘had not always been great’.
Ms Palaszczuk said there were currently 156,000 people on the Gold Coast, 16 and over, who remained unvaccinated.
Although the state’s exposure site list is likely to grow, Ms Palaszczuk said lockdown on the Gold Coast was not likely as a result of the new case because of the area’s relatively high vaccination rate.
Queensland Health figures show more than 60 per cent of people in the Broadbeach area are fully-vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk was speaking in Mackay as part of a week-long tour to encourage vaccination rates in regional Queensland, where rates have been lagging.
The premier announced 73.21 per cent of the state had now received a first dose, while 58.07 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk identified a number of towns where she said vaccination rates were too low given the state’s deadline of a phased reopening by November 19 and a full reopening on December 17.
The new case ends a run of 15 days in which Queensland has not had any community acquired cases of Covid-19 (pictured, locals enjoying a sunny day on the Gold Coast)
She mentioned Bowen at 48.4 per cent having received a first dose of vaccine, Moranbah at 46.5 per cent, Serena at 61 per cent and the Whitsundays at 63 per cent as places where rates were too low.
‘We know Mackay and Proserpine and the Whitsundays are absolutely gateways for tourism,’ she said. ‘We know that, on December 17, there will be tourists coming from all around Australia so please go and get vaccinated.’
Queensland Health plans to turn 100 high schools into mass vaccination clinics across a number of areas of the state with lagging vaccination rates, including Mackay, West Moreton, Cairns, Townsville, Wide Bay, Central Queensland, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Metro South and Metro North.
Yesterday Ms Palaszczuk urged regional residents to ‘hop on the lifeboat’ by getting vaccinated before the December 17 reopening date.
‘I can’t look after you if you won’t hop in the lifeboat,’ she said at a press conference in Maryborough on Wednesday.
‘We need everyone to get on the lifeboat and we’ll be protected. We have 11 days to go to get everyone vaccinated.’
The premier warned the Sunshine State would reopen borders to the rest of Australia on December 17, even if the 80 per cent double-dose target is not reached.