Brisbane, Dec 9 (IANS): Health authorities of Australia's state of Queensland on Friday urged residents to get up to date with their vaccinations as the state is seeing an increasing number of Covid-19 infections.
Queensland Chief Health Officer John Gerrard said the number of positive cases had risen in the past week and was expected to keep trending upward until the fourth wave peaked, reports Xinhua news agency.
Reported positive cases between November 30 and December 7 reached 13,632, which is an increase of 21 per cent compared to the week prior, while the number of hospitalizations remained the same, according to the chief health officer.
He said a large number of people aged over 60 not up-to-date with their vaccinations are being infected.
"People in this group are at significant risk of severe illness if they contract Covid-19, so it is vital they receive four doses of the vaccine," he said.
Data from the Australian government's Department of Health and Aged Care showed that in the week as of December 7, Queensland, compared to other jurisdictions, witnessed the largest increase rate in the average daily cases compared to the previous week.
At the same time, Queensland's percentage of residents aged five and over who have had two doses of Covid-19 vaccinations, and the percentage of eligible residents aged 16 and over who have had third doses, are both lower than other populous states such as New South Wales and Victoria.
Gerrard said antiviral treatments were also an effective response to Covid-19 and called on people over the age of 70 to have a plan to obtain antiviral treatments if they do get infected.
As Queensland introduced a Covid-19 "traffic light system" in October, Gerrard said the system remains on amber based on the current rate of infections, which meant people were advised to wear a mask in healthcare settings, indoors if they could not socially distance, and on public transport.