By state political reporter Kate McKenna and Janelle Miles
COVID-19 modelling suggests about 200 people in Queensland could die in the three months after borders reopen to New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.
The modelling by QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, based on vaccination levels of 80 per cent in those aged 16 and older, predicts deaths would be “heavily skewed” towards the elderly.
Since the pandemic began more than 20 months ago, Queensland has recorded 2,071 known cases of the virus and seven deaths.
But the modelling concludes Queensland’s health system “would be strained but not to breaking point” and assumes ongoing control measures of testing, contact tracing, isolation of positive cases and quarantine of their contacts.
COVID-19 modeller associate professor James Roberts suggested hospital bed numbers for pandemic virus cases would peak at 2,000 in August next year, including about 400 to 500 requiring intensive care.
“The model predicts in three months, there could be, say, 200 or so deaths in total, although these would be heavily skewed towards the older ages,” he said.
“For children and adolescents — we’re talking zero or single digits; for the 45-65 [age group] — maybe tens.
“It’s really important that everyone gets vaccinated.”