Carla La Tella


Why Queensland's top doctor has said the spread of COVID is "necessary"

Why Queensland's top doctor has said the spread of COVID is "necessary"

Image: Getty 

Queensland's Chief Health Officer, John Gerrard, announced to a press conference on Thursday that the sudden and continued escalation of Omicron case numbers throughout the state is not just inevitable, but that it is "necessary".

Queensland had just recorded 369 new Covid cases – the highest number of cases ever recorded in the state – as fears for the spread of the Omicron virus continue to grow apace.

During the same mid-morning press conference, Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk addressed the rising numbers, assuring everyone that the surge in numbers was expected and would likely get worse.

"I want us to stay safe over Christmas and New Year but we will see an escalation of cases like we're seeing in other states," she said.

"But the good news is, at the present time there is only one person in hospital and they have other medical issues, even though they do have COVID.”

According to Premier Palaszczuk, the virus “is across Queensland” and residents must now learn to live with it.

“This virus is here," she explained. "It is right throughout our community. We are living with this virus. This is the next stage of the pandemic.

"Everyone wants to get on with their lives but we are going to see a big impact on those who are unvaccinated."

CHO John Gerrard then said the latest strain of the virus (Omicron) is "extremely contagious" and will need to continue spreading in order to reach the "endemic phase".

"Not only is the spread of this virus inevitable, it is necessary," he said. "In order for us to go from the pandemic phase to an endemic phase, the virus has to be widespread."

"We all have to have immunity, you will all have to develop immunity and there's two ways you can do that: by being vaccinated or getting infected.

"Once we've done that, once the virus is spreading, once we all have some degree of immunity, the virus becomes endemic and that is what is going to happen."

Mr Gerrard also clarified that mask wearing will not rid the country of the virus but will give everyone better odds of slowing it down.

“We're not going to stop it,” he said.

"We're trying to slow it down a little bit to enable people to get third doses. We don't expect to stop it."

Our Partners