In what is now the third consecutive day of coronaviral outbreaks in Queensland, a number of hospitals have reported a spike in cases.
The State Health Department said the most recent outbreak in St Jude Hospital on Monday evening had left a patient dead.
“The patient died after a short period of time on the ward,” a spokesperson said.
“This is an ongoing incident and the Queensland Ambulance Service is investigating the circumstances of the patient’s death.”
On Wednesday, the Queensland Government announced that it would temporarily close the state’s entire state-run healthcare system and would also close the entire Central Queensland Hospital.
The move follows a number and increasing cases of the coronivirus.
Dr Richard Molloy from the University of Queensland said the recent spike in coronaviruses was “a worrying development” and that it could be linked to the closure of hospitals.
“It’s a very worrying development because we don’t know what the link is, what the causes are, we don, we just don’t have any clues to what’s happening,” he said.
Queensland health minister Dr Richard Triggs said the outbreak was being linked to “the coronavivirus pandemic”.
“We are in the process of making a decision on a new round of funding, we’ve already put about $4 million into it,” Dr Triggs told ABC Radio Brisbane.
“We will be looking at the link, we’ll be looking in the other centres that we’re in and making a determination as to whether that’s the cause.”
A spokesperson for the Queensland Health Department declined to comment further on the reasons for the increase in cases and said that the Government would continue to work closely with health authorities in other parts of the state.
“Any increase in any type of virus is a concern, especially when we’ve got a large population in Queensland and we’re dealing with this population of the world, so that’s a concern,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
The Department of Health has confirmed that a patient has died after being transferred to St Jüdens hospital in Queensland.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was “shocked and devastated” to hear of the death of a patient in St Jude Hospital.
Ms Palasza said she had spoken to Dr Trigg, who was responsible for managing the health and emergency departments in Queensland before taking over as Premier last month.
“This has been a very, very traumatic experience for me, for our entire health team and we will all do everything we can to support them in any way we can,” she said.
Dr Triggs says the outbreak is not linked to a specific facility or facility type, but is linked to more than just the two hospitals.
The Queensland Government is “actively investigating” the death, the spokesperson added.
“At this time, it is still unclear why this patient’s condition changed and how it could have affected his death.”
The Queensland Government has said it will be putting up a sign at St Júdens Hospital, telling people to “stay calm and not panic” if they are worried. ABC/wires