Brisbane enter snap 3-day lockdown as cluster continues to grow

Four new locally transmitted Covid-19 cases were reported

It's understood the drastic move was made after at least one more healthcare worker at the major hospital tested positive to Covid.

On Wednesday, March 10 a doctor assessed a coronavirus patient for admission at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane's inner-south.

"This is the United Kingdom strain".

"If either of those [two close contacts] come back as a positive case or we get any other positive cases in the ACT, of course we'll then inform Canberrans of any places they have been that may present a transmission risk and we will ask people to either monitor their health symptoms or to go into quarantine as required", she said.

Australia's Queensland state warned on Tuesday that more cases of COVID-19 were expected to emerge as authorities scrambled to contain an outbreak linked to the virulent United Kingdom variant, throwing Easter travel plans into disarray.

"We want to get on top of this community transmission", Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.

About 2.5 million people in Greater Brisbane were ordered into a snap three-day lockdown on Monday afternoon.

"We just have to take this day by day, " Ms Palaszczuk said.

With Chief Health Officer, Dr. Jeannette Young advising that unessential travel is curtailed, Greater Brisbane residents will need to comply with lockdown measures and leave their homes only for essential reasons.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has not ruled out the possibility of extending lockdown past 5pm on Thursday.

It comes as authorities look at locations in Toowoomba, Hervey Bay, the Gold Coast and Gladstone for potential cases.

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When pressed on whether the lockdown might be extended until Tuesday to "give people more certainty", the Premier said it all "depends on what we see over the next 24-48 hours".

"To the people of Brisbane who might have bought tickets to come to Bluesfest, do not come", Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said in a press conference yesterday.

"We have staffed up as much as we can but we have a very high demand for testing at the moment so those sites will be busy".

Neighboring New South Wales (NSW) state, Australia's most populous, is also on alert after two of the Queensland cases, a nurse and her sister, travelled while unknowingly infectious to Byron Bay, a tourist town just south of the Queensland border and home to Hollywood A-listers such as Chris Hemsworth.

Cases in both clusters are either genomically linked to, or close contacts of, two Princess Alexandra Hospital staff who tested positive.

"The big question will be whether or not we see unlinked community transmission", the Premier added.

The state opposition supports the mandate but said it should have happened sooner, criticising the vaccine rollout as sluggish.

The cases linked to the doctor include two men in northern Brisbane, the brother of one of the men, and two colleagues of the other.

"The good news is that these cases are linked and we now believe that there are two distinct clusters", she said.

More than 41,000 frontline workers have received their first jab already, but only about 7000 are fully vaccinated.

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