A COVID-positive ride-share driver who sparked fears of an outbreak on the Gold Coast last month has been fined more than $4,000 for breaching Queensland border restrictions.
Duran Raman, who was unvaccinated, tested positive to COVID-19 on the Gold Coast after returning from a trip to Melbourne and failing to enter mandatory hotel quarantine.
He remains in hospital on the Gold Coast.
It comes as Queensland recorded zero new community cases of COVID-19 and one new positive case in hotel quarantine — a returned overseas traveller from Ukraine.
Meanwhile, the deadline has arrived for health workers to be fully vaccinated against the disease with the state’s peak doctors body today welcoming the ban on any unvaccinated staff in public hospitals.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said more than 92 per cent of staff had already been vaccinated.
But more than 7,000 staff were yet to confirm their vaccination status, with about 4,000 to receive show-cause notices today and be suspended on full-pay.
“We have a number of staff who will now go through a show-cause process,” she said.
“And we will put in place measures to manage any workforce shortages that might occur.”
Queensland Health director-general John Wakefield told staff that unvaccinated employees would not be allowed to work in a public hospital and figures provided by the department last week to the ABC showed more than 2,300 staff had applied for exemptions to the mandate.
The Australian Medical Association of Queensland and the Australian Salaried Medical Officers’ Federation Queensland has backed the ban, saying the decision was in the interests of patients, staff and the community, especially ahead of the border reopening.
“We know the number of cases in Queensland will increase as people begin to move around the country more freely and we’ve witnessed Delta outbreaks in hospitals elsewhere this year,” AMAQ President Chris Perry said.
“Patient and staff safety must be the first priority and we were supportive of the decision to mandate vaccination for public hospital employees from the outset.
“Indeed, we would like to see the public health order extended to cover all health care employees, including those in private practice, which continues to be a grey area that leaves workers, employers and patients exposed.”
More to come.