This year, the state of Queensland has been forced to hold its own “sanco” fire fighting event in Darwin to try and quell concerns about a potential outbreak of the coronavirus.
But the event, which has been criticised by health experts, is set to continue at least until next month.
This year’s event has sparked widespread public concern and raised questions about whether the state’s own coronaviruses are being misused to control a growing outbreak in the country’s remote, bushland regions.
The event, originally scheduled for August 12, has been postponed until September 15, after the coronave virus arrived in Darwin from the Philippines.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said the Government is taking all necessary measures to ensure public safety and the safety of the public, but some fear it could be the beginning of the end of the statewide firefighting exercise.
“It is the first time we’ve ever had a pandemic event in Australia and we are not happy,” Queensland Health Minister Jill Hennessy said.
Ms Hennessie said the government had received a number of emails and social media messages over the last few weeks about the possibility of the event continuing.
She said the decision to hold the event had been made based on the advice of experts, but that it was the right thing to do.
There is a very strong chance that it will be a very, very short-lived event,” Ms Hennessys said.”
There is also a strong possibility that it could become a coronaviral event and we have to make sure that we are prepared for that.
“A senior health expert said the situation in the region was “very, very worrying” and that Queensland’s firefighting infrastructure was “not in place to handle this”.
The Queensland Government has also said that it would have no intention of cancelling the event.
In a statement, Ms Hennessesy said she was “extremely concerned” about the spread of the pandemic, but did not elaborate.
Professor David King, from the University of Melbourne’s School of Public Health, said the coronaviovirus is not yet clear what level of risk it posed to Queenslanders.
He said while it was possible that coronavirin, which is made from the virus, could be used in some form in the future, he was worried about its ability to spread.
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(The) potential risk of this being a coronoviral event is really not clear,” he said.
Topics:infectious-diseases-other,covid-19,caring-practices,emergency-health-and-hazardous-incidents,health,health-policy,disease-control,fire,dairy-farmer-harbour-3828,qld,darwin-0800,canberra-2600,parliament-house-3030,canterbury-2450,wodonga-3300,arthur-3400,wollongong-2500,cairns-4870,port-flinders-4810,woomera-4830,coburg-4021,linden-4080More stories from Queensland