How Cairns has contained COVID-19 outbreak
A COMBINATION of tight government management and the community's willingness to heed the call has been linked to Cairns' stable coronavirus figures.
The Far North was still on 32 cases yesterday, marking a full week of no new cases since the previous Wednesday.
Of those cases, only eight were still active, two of which were quarantined in Brisbane.
Cairns MP Michael Healy said it was a tremendous result for the region, with no patients confined to hospital.
"I think the majority … have done the right thing by staying home, though know there are people who have breached that which is disappointing."
Mr Healy said he didn't want to commit to a timeline on when restrictions could start easing, but it would be gradual. "We've got to go through a period of no new cases like we have, but it will take tenacity - no saying 'we're doing all right now' and reopening a few pubs and setting us back three weeks."
James Cook University professor of infectious diseases Emma McBryde said Cairns' results reflected a broad upturn in the coronavirus response across Australia.
"We're turning the tap off of new cases - with all the social distancing, we're reducing the numbers bit by bit," she said.
"Our rate of case detection is doing very good, with about one death for every hundred cases detected.
"One thing Queensland could be doing better is reporting local versus imported cases - Queensland Health have said the majority of cases have been from overseas which is encouraging, but it would be good to have exact data to help establish a timeline."
Professor McBryde said the decision to expand testing criteria, including to anyone showing symptoms in Cairns, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, was a big positive step.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced 60 paramedic graduates were being fast-tracked into training this month, after the earlier deployment of 45 paramedics across the state.
"The graduates will be out … helping people, again making sure we have the frontline services we need to combat COVID-19," she said.
The Police Minister, the Minister for Multicultural Affairs and the Police Commissioner have called out racism during the coronavirus pandemic.
They said offensive behaviour directed at some communities was unacceptable, and penalties applied.
There are eight active Cairns cases, two of which are quarantined in Brisbane, and 24 recovered cases, with no deaths reported.
The Cape and Torres Strait remains at zero cases.
Queensland has five new confirmed cases, raising the state total to 999.
The total cases from April 14 were revised down from 998 to 994.
Originally published as How Cairns has contained COVID-19 outbreak