• Electron microscope image from the US National Institutes of Health showing the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19 (AAP)Source: AAP
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer says the 10-year health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people still applies for COVID-19.
Douglas Smith

23 Mar 2020 - 2:45 PM  UPDATED 23 Mar 2020 - 2:56 PM

The Chief Health Officer of Queensland has said the 10-year health gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians still applies in the case of COVID-19. 

On Monday, Dr Jeanette Young also said those who were most at-risk were people with “chronic diseases” which were more common for Indigenous people. 

“It’s very, very clear, people at risk are those who are aged 60 or over with one or more chronic diseases, or of course, are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders who are aged at 50 years or over are an increased risk,” said Dr Young. 

“This is advice across the public service and across all workplaces, that if you're in that vulnerable group - so you’re over the age of 60 with one or more chronic diseases, particularly, hypertension, diabetes, lung disease or heart disease, then you need to talk to your boss, whoever that may, be about how you minimise that risk.”

Queensland has recorded its highest increase of Coronavirus cases in a 24-hour period, with 60 new cases overnight, bringing the total number to 319 as of Monday morning.

Following a press conference this morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced the state will close its borders in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

“Cabinet has decided to close Queensland’s borders. I’ll bring you more detail soon,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said in a tweet this afternoon.

Details on the closure are yet to come, however, communities continue to go into lock down across the state, with the Torres Strait Island Shire Council announcing on Monday that it would restrict access, stopping all non-essential travel between the mainland. 

On Sunday, the state government placed Cape York in lock down, stopping all non-essential travel in a bid to protect Indigenous communities with a high number of vulnerable residents.

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