Active cases, where they are and how they got here
More than 150 people have been detected as having the COVID-19 virus in Queensland quarantine hotels since March 1, including dozens of cases of the highly infectious UK variant.
Between March 1 and April 6, genomic sequencing detected 42 cases of the UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in the Sunshine State.
Four cases of the South African variant were also sequenced.
Both have been labelled COVID-19 "variants of concern" because of their high transmissibility.
As of this morning, Queensland had 68 active cases, three recorded in the preceding 24 hours, taking the state's total number of confirmed infections to 1500.
All of them in are hotel quarantine.
WHERE ARE THEY FROM?
As of yesterday, when Queensland had 73 active cases of the COVID-19 virus, more than a third of them were recent travellers from Papua New Guinea, where a tsunami of infections is overwhelming the local health system.
The UK variant was responsible for two separate clusters of COVID-19 which emerged last month out of the Princess Alexandra Hospital infectious disease Ward 5D, putting about 580 health workers into quarantine.
A PA Hospital junior doctor and three nurses were infected with the UK variant by two international travellers who were cared for in the same room in Ward 5D at different times.
One had recently returned from Europe, the other from India.
Queensland Health data shows COVID cases coming into the state from overseas since March 1 have travelled or transited through more than 30 countries, including Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
As of yesterday, the state's active cases are all being cared for in five hospitals; 36 were in the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, 24 in the Gold Coast University Hospital, 10 in the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, two in Bundaberg and one in the Princess Alexandra Hospital's intensive care unit.
WHERE WILL THEY GO?
The state's recent COVID outbreaks have triggered concerns among health professionals about the Queensland Health protocol of admitting all patients with COVID-19 to hospital.
Health Minister Yvette D'Ath has said her department is assessing whether most of the COVID patients should be transferred to one facility, potentially the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, but a decision is yet to be made.
Infectious disease physician Paul Griffin suggested caring for them in a medi-hotel may be a better option.
"It's probably better to have the odd case escape from the hotel system rather than hospitals," Associate Professor Griffin said.
"We have seen what the impact of that is at the PA with so many staff quarantined. I don't think hospitals are necessarily the solution but the focus needs to be on reducing the risk wherever they're housed.
"I think the hotel system would be an option. But we'd obviously need to make sure we find the right hotel and make sure there's sufficient ventilation, control of people's movements and well-trained staff, using the right personal protective equipment and all those things."
Queensland recorded three new pandemic virus cases in the past 24 hours, all of them in hotel quarantine, taking the state's total number of confirmed infections to 1500.
That includes 68 active cases.
Originally published as COVID LATEST: Active cases, where they are and how they got here