Queensland will triple its emergency department capacity and double its intensive care wards in hospitals as the state readies itself for the spread of coronavirus, chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young says.
Health authorities will conduct a test of its emergency departments on Friday as Queensland readies itself for a spread of the virus.
It comes as the Queensland Government buys up about $25 million worth of gloves and masks in preparation, as well as 110 extra ventilators for its hospitals.
Dr Young said she expected a spread in Queensland in the coming weeks or months.
“We may well see some outbreaks in one part of the state and the rest of the state be fine — we’ll manage that.
“It’s when you get sustained transmission between person to person.”
So far, Queensland has seen nine separate isolated cases of the virus from patients who contracted the disease overseas — all have recovered with the exception of one patient who remains in hospital.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the new measures would be rolled out if the spread of coronavirus put a strain on the state’s current capacity.
Ms Palaszczuk urged Queenslanders to listen to authorities as the situation develops.
“We are planning and doing the preparation just as we would with any natural disaster.
“We are doing everything we can to contain the virus here in Queensland and so far those measures are working very effectively,” she said.
She has urged residents to wash their hands and maintain a distance of about 1.5 metres from anyone with cold and flu symptoms.
“We are making sure that our state is as prepared as we possibly can be.”