Top cop slams teens' 'deceitful, criminal behaviour'

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll has slammed the actions of two teens who returned to Queensland after a trip to Melbourne and Sydney and contracted COVID-19, risking the health of Queenslanders.

"They went to extraordinary lengths to be deceitful and deceptive and quite frankly criminal in their behaviour and that is what has put the community at risk," she said.

There were three new cases in Queensland overnight. They include one international arrival and two interstate arrivals who have been self isolating.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the women had put the lives and wellbeing of Queenslanders at risk.

"There is a social responsibility here for everyone to do the right thing," she said.

"These are people who deliberately went about doing the right thing.

"I am angry."

The Premier has urged anyone who is sick to stay home and to keep up with the social distancing, while Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young Dr Young confirmed authorities did not know where the second COVID-positive 19-year-old had been.

She encouraged anyone who saw people at a shopping centre not social distancing to leave the area.

The Premier called on Queenslanders to take the COVID threat seriously.

She said people should leave places where people were socially distancing, like shopping centres.

"If you are sick, stay at home, do not go to work," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk confirmed authorities were aware that three women had in fact travelled to Victoria and back together, not just the two 19-year-old girls.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Queensland had 11 active cases, with 5 in hospital.

He confirmed none of the new cases were related to yesterday's cases.

Mr Miles thanked the couple for self-isolating.

"It has kept Queenslanders safe," he said.

He said the news underlined the decision made to declare Greater Sydney as a COVID hot spot

"It was the right decision," he said.

Mr Miles said authorities had seen a four-fold increase in testing in the Metro South area yesterday and more than 6000 people had been tested

None had come back positive.

"It is exactly how we will ensure we do not have community transfer," he said.

"If there is anyone else out there who has been infected, we want to find them."

Mr Miles said authorities had translated health advice into 10 different languages and were meeting with community leaders to ensure everyone understood what was happening and what was required of them.

Earlier, Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles ruled out the return of Government-funded hotel quarantine but conceded the cost of quarantine could deter travellers from admitting their actual movements.

"That disincentive was something we considered when we put those charges in place … I suspect it wouldn't have made a difference in this case," he told ABC Radio.

"They've appeared to have lied to get around that and I don't' think the charges are necessarily the reason for that."

Mr Miles said the government had 'spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars' on hotel quarantine and had offered people 'a long time to get back home' before the self-funded quarantine began.

 

 

Queensland Health is currently consulting 'go card' records and CCTV to identify whether the women used public transport services to travel.

However Mr Miles said Queensland Health was not currently concerned about public transport 'at this stage'.

Police are also accessing flight manifests to contact people who were sitting near Ms Muranga and Ms Lasu on their flight - VA977 - a from Sydney to Brisbane.

Mr Miles said he noted that Victoria was bracing for a record number of cases today, with expectations of another 700-plus case day.

"It underlines that now is not the time to travel," he said.

Chief Health Officer said the international traveller had returned from the US and the couple had not been required to self-isolate, but did so anyway.

"They had chosen themselves to go into quarantine in their home ... so that was an excellent response from those people," she said.

 

Mr Miles said he noted that Victoria was bracing for a record number of cases today.

"It underlines that now is not the time to travel," he said.

Chief Health Officer said the international traveller had returned from the US and the couple had not been required to self-isolate, but did so anyway.

"They had chosen themselves to go into quarantine in their home ... so that was an excellent response from those people," she said.

Dr Young told Queenslander they would need to be extra vigilant as authorities did not know where the second COVID-positive 19-year-old had been.

She said the first woman had told contact tracers where she had been.

"Unfortunately the second confirmed case has not wanted to let us know where she has been," she said.

"I don't know where that second case has been."

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the women involved had been particularly deceitful and criminal and had been given notices to appear in court.

"We have planned for this, we have exercised this ... everyone in Queensland can have confidence that what we are doing to protect our state is working extremely well," she said.

It comes as 'worried and frustrated' health officials are scrambling to trace the movements of two COVID-positive women who travelled around southeast Queensland for almost a week after lying to authorities about their trip to Melbourne.

 

Speaking to ABC Radio Brisbane this morning, Health Minister Steven Miles said 'It wouldn't be surprising if we had further cases' with the exact movements of three COVID-positive Queenslanders currently unknown.

Olivia Winnie Muranga and Diana Lasu both tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday night and Wednesday respectively, after returning to Queensland from a trip to Sydney and Melbourne almost one week before.

A 22-year-old sister of one of the girls - who did not travel to Melbourne or Sydney - also tested positive for the virus yesterday.

Mr Miles said Queensland Health was tracing the exact movements of those three people.

 

Women at centre of coronavirus cases
Women at centre of coronavirus cases

 

"They've been to a lot of places around throughout the south side including South Bank."

"We did a list of places yesterday afternoon, they're the places that we know of right now," he said.

But that list 'is just for one of the girls', Mr Miles said.

Queensland Health is currently consulting 'go card' records and CCTV to identify whether the women used public transport services to travel.

However Mr Miles said Queensland Health was not currently concerned about public transport 'at this stage'.

 

Police are also accessing flight manifests to contact people who were sitting near Ms Muranga and Ms Lasu on their flight - VA977 - a from Sydney to Brisbane.

It is believed Ms Muranga and Ms Lasu lied to Police about where they'd been when they returned to Queensland.

"This is being treated as a criminal investigation," Mr Miles said.

Jail time is a possible penalty for people breaching coronavirus health restrictions after harsher penalties were passed in Queensland parliament earlier this month.

 

"Some people thought that was overkill but now … it's proven to be a really important measure," Mr Miles said.

"I don't want to see people sick, I don't want to see people dying in hospitals, I don't want to see our health workers over run."

Mr Miles said testing clinics at Parklands Christian College and Logan Hospital had been overwhelmed with residents seeking COVID-19 tests.

"And that's exactly what we want in these early days of an outbreak," Mr Miles told ABC Radio.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as WATCH LIVE: Premier to deliver COVID case latest



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