Health & Medicine

We saved Commonwealth ‘billions of dollars’, says Queensland Health Minister

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“I think the Commonwealth has a role to play here as far as supporting industry, getting access to rapid antigen tests for their own staff, especially critical essential workers,” she said.

Ms D’Ath said the state government was ensuring there were sufficient tests for public health staff and frontline workers.

“I know we’ve actually redistributed some of our supply to police because they needed it and we want to make sure that they can get access to that.

“We’re also committed to handing out the free kits at our [PCR testing] lines for day six, you know, and also particularly vulnerable people who we think shouldn’t be standing in those lines for long periods of time.”

Queensland reported six COVID-19 deaths on Thursday as the state government announced all domestic border requirements and border controls would be lifted from 1am on Saturday.

The decision would allow police to focus on managing access to certain venues for unvaccinated people who could not enter high-risk venues.

The state reported 14,914 new infections on Thursday, with 582 COVID patients now in Queensland hospitals and 26 of those in intensive care — 10 of which on ventilators.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Mark Bailey claimed the federal government was taking RAT tests from Queenslanders.

Queensland Rail received an email from a supplier advising them 20,000 RAT kits ordered were no longer available as the provider was only dealing with the federal government now, Mr Bailey said.

“For the Morrison-Joyce government, every problem is someone else’s fault. Every crisis is someone else’s responsibility,” he said.

“They’ve taken 20,000 tests from Queensland Rail’s critical workforce at a time when our supply chains are under more pressure than ever before.”

When asked on Thursday about the federal government getting priority for RAT tests, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the “whole world is after rapid antigen tests”.

“The Queensland government and I know the federal government are trying to procure as much as possible as are other states,” she said.

“The federal government and the state governments need these rapid antigen tests. We’ve got to keep the freights moving or to keep our workforce operating.

“And I know that the federal government is procuring them, especially for our seniors.”

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