Mask mandates could return to fight Covid wave

A chief health officer has signaled a possible return of mask mandates as Australia battles a resurgence in Covid cases.

Masks mandates could be reintroduced across Australia to counter a resurgence in Covid cases.

The Queensland Health Officer, Dr. John Gerrard, confirmed the possibility was being discussed with his colleagues from other states.

“I can say there is increasing pressure nationwide, there is a school that believes we should make masks mandatory again,” he told 4BC on Friday.

Most jurisdictions rolled back the requirements for wearing masks indoors and in crowded areas early this year, as the majority of the population was fully vaccinated.

A higher prevalence of immune-resistant Covid variants is now of particular concern among health leaders.

dr. Gerrard said the current wave of Covid cases affecting his condition “will get significantly worse in the coming weeks”.

He said the new strains evaded immunity, both naturally and through vaccines.

“We see the creation of a new wave of Covid, these BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants that are causing a significant wave right now,” he said.

“We always knew winter would be bad, but this one is particularly nasty.

“Infection with this virus will be very common. You will know a lot of people infected with this strain of the virus in the coming weeks.”

dr. Gerrard urged everyone to make sure they were up to date on their vaccinations – especially those over 65 and eligible for a fourth dose.

“The majority of people hospitalized in Queensland are over 65s who are not up to date on their vaccinations,” he said.

“The vaccines protect us, especially if you know about boosters; they protect us from serious diseases, that’s the most important thing.”

Queensland recorded 5313 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths on Friday.

Nearly 93 percent of Queensland residents were expected to be up to date on their vaccinations.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson refused to rule out a new lockdown as Covid cases are also rising in Britain.

One in 40 people – 1.3 million – had the virus in the UK last week.

Every day 1,200 people are admitted to the UK with Covid, although most are mainly ill with another condition.

Speaking at the NATO summit in Madrid, Johnson warned that a new lockdown was unlikely, but said it would be “irresponsible” to rule it out.

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