26 September 2023

Emergency plan for convention centre

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The Department of Health may be setting up temporary hospitals across Queensland as it examines options for treating COVID-19 patients should there be an overflow from existing facilities.

Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk said that some hotels, particularly those near Queensland’s major hospitals throughout the State, had been approached about providing bed space.

“I hope it doesn’t come to this, but the Coronavirus pandemic is upon us now and our hospitals and medical staff over the coming months could be under enormous strain,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The additional facilities would contain and treat people who had contracted the virus and who might have minor difficulties but did not require intensive care.”

She said it was imperative to prevent Queensland hospitals being overwhelmed.

The Premier said that in Brisbane, the RNA Convention Centre (pictured) could quickly be transformed to take COVID-19 patients as its showground had been used as a treatment centre for patients during the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic.

“This is what happened 102 years ago, but we are now a lot more sophisticated than having to put people in tents at the Showgrounds,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We can quickly convert this site into a functioning hospital.”

She reminded the community that if people were told to self-isolate, there was “no option” but to follow those instructions or face fines of up to $13,345.

“And police won’t hesitate to act,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Once again, I appeal to Queenslanders to stay home and take every precaution to ensure that our health facilities are not overwhelmed.”

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