Queensland police are 'investigating an attempted escape' from a Covid wardPatient is believed to be 36-year-old Uber driver Duran RamanDr Jeannette Young said on Friday Raman's condition had 'deteriorated' He was unvaccinated and had allegedly not used check-in codes for a month The entire Broadbeach resort where he lives has been listed as an exposure site
Police are investigating whether the unvaccinated Uber driver currently deteriorating in a Queensland hospital allegedly tried to escape the ward despite needing a constant supply of high flow oxygen.
Authorities are ‘investigating an attempted escape’ from inside the Covid ward at the Gold Coast University Hospital, Nine’s Today reported.
The patient is believed to be Duran Raman, the Covid-infected rideshare driver who tested positive for the virus last week after returning from a trip to Melbourne.
It comes after the 36-year-old Broadbeach man showed signs his health was deteriorating on Friday.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young revealed at a press conference rideshare driver was ‘very unwell’ and was relying on oxygen.
‘Over the last 24 hours he has deteriorated so he needs more oxygen’ she told reporters on Friday.
Duran Raman, aged in his 30s, (pictured) was infectious in the community for up to 10 days after returning from a trip to Melbourne on October 10
‘They are keeping a very close eye on him. He is on high flow oxygen and he will probably need to go into intensive care.
‘That is terrible. He is a very young, fit man who was not vaccinated and he is now extremely sick.’
‘Sometimes if high flow oxygen is inadequate, then they need to go onto a ventilator.’
Health authorities on Saturday morning said Raman was in a ‘stable but serious condition’ but at that stage avoided admission into the intensive care unit.
Dr Young said Raman had been so ill Queensland Health did not yet have exposure sites based on his movements. His
‘He was so sick that he probably has not been out in the community so we don’t have exposure venues for him other than his place of residence,’ Dr Young said.
‘Anyone who lives there has been told any symptoms at all to get tested but we believe they are only casual contacts because he has been so sick he has been at home.’
Guests, residents, and workers who have been at Island Beach Resort in Broadbeach (pictured) anytime from Saturday through to Tuesday have been plunged into isolation
A truck driver had been infectious for two days in Queensland as the state announced no new community-acquired cases.
The state is breathing a sigh of relief after an unvaccinated rideshare driver was discovered to be infectious for 10 days on the Gold Coast last Thursday.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said a truck driver with one dose of vaccine had been infectious in Queensland on October 18 and 19 and was now back in Victoria.
He tested positive to the virus on October 20. Dr Young said he had received a first dose of a Covid vaccine on October 1 and ‘that is not sufficient to stop someone spreading the virus’.
The new exposure sites announced last night, including a cinema in Stafford and petrol station in Acacia Ridge, were visited by the truck driver, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said five cases were also detected in hotel quarantine.
Ms Palaszczuk said 73.66 per cent of Queenslanders had now received a first dose of vaccine, with 58.72 per cent now fully vaccinated.
Duran Raman, aged in his 30s and unvaccinated, tested positive to the virus on Wednesday, bringing an end to the state’s 15-day Covid-free streak.
Health authorities said the exercise enthusiast, who is ‘so sick he can barely speak’, has lived in a private resort in Broadbeach for about 12 months and was out and about around the Gold Coast while infectious.
Adding to the difficulty of their task, Mr Raman – who was unvaccinated and shared anti-vax videos over his social media accounts – allegedly has not used Queensland’s QR check-in system for over a month, according to health officials.
Ms Palaszczuk objected to suggestions international travellers should be allowed to travel to Queensland in line with the bringing forward of entry to NSW from people overseas.
‘Our vaccination rates aren’t high enough. We are not at 70 per cent double dose,’ she said.
‘We have set out a clear road map. We need people to come forward and get vaccinated. We haven’t had the situations that New South Wales and Victoria have, where tragically we are seeing numbers of people who have lost their life each and every day.
‘We haven’t had that but now is the time. We have got that window of opportunity for Queenslanders to get vaccinated.’
‘We will look at that closely but, as we are seeing today, a clear example, five cases in hotel quarantine, so Queensland does not have the protection yet that it needs to be able to have quarantine-free vaccinated people staying in Queensland.’
Of the new exposure sites, authorities are most concerned about Gilly Barber in Richlands and Stafford’s Hoyts Cinema, which were both visited on October 18 between 5.10pm to 6pm and 7.15pm to 10.45pm by the infectious truck driver.
Both venues have been deemed close contact sites, with anyone who was there during the time window of concern urged to immediately isolate, get tested, and quarantine for 14 days.
Freedom Fuels, in Acacia Ridge, is now considered a casual contact site on Tuesday 19, between 6.25pm-640pm.
The same applies to Mr Raman’s home, Island Beach Resort, which is the subject of four alerts after residents were exposed all day on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.
Hoyts Cinema in Stafford (pictured) has been declared a close contact venue for Monday October 18, between 7.15pm to 10.45pm
Anyone who visited Freedom Fuels in Acacia Ridge (pictured) on Tuesday is considered a casual contact
Everyone who was at the resort or petrol shop during those times will need to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result – including cleaners, front desk staff, and guests.
Mr Raman, who was a member of gym EMF Performance centre, which has branches across the city, tested positive at Robina Hospital on Wednesday before Ms Palaszczuk announced the new case on Thursday.
It is alleged he checked out of the hospital before the results came back and had to be tracked down at his home by police and health authorities when he could not be contacted, the Courier Mail reports.
Police arrived at the resort, where he lives alone, about 5.30pm on Wednesday and he was taken to Gold Coast University by an ambulance.
The gym junkie is no so sick with coronavirus it has proven difficult to get information on his movements since he returned from a trip to Melbourne on October 10.
Mr Raman shared his reaction to a Victorian Covid press conference from the start of September in which Premier Dan Andrews announced some eased restrictions.
He captioned the video posted to his Instagram: ‘Mr Gronk. A dead set gronk’.
In the conference, the premier announced playgrounds would be reopening and authorised workers would once again be permitted in homes to provide services.
‘Yay. The playgrounds are going to reopen. Wow,’ Mr Raman is heard saying.
‘Playgrounds and looking after kids, you f***ing gronk. You’re a gronk, look at ya.’
Queensland Police are currently investigating whether the Broadbeach man had tried to enter the state unlawfully after being turned away at the border.
It’s believed the ride-share driver also visited Sydney in late September.
‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that [he was] not vaccinated.’
‘We are a little bit concerned about this person that has been infectious in the community and if you have any symptoms whatsoever, now is the time to get vaccinated.’
Mr Raman, who has also played for local AFL team Broadbeach Cats, reportedly had a brush with the law earlier this year when he was charged with low-range drink driving and driving unlicensed.
He pleaded guilty to both charges in Southport Magistrates Court in June and was fined $1000 and banned from driving for two months.
The new case immediately raised fears of a repeat of Sydney’s most recent Delta outbreak, which began with an infected limousine driver from the Northern Beaches.
It was one of five new cases reported on Thursday, the others acquired overseas and detected in hotel quarantine facilities.
The building manager of the Broadbeach resort, Greg Jermyn, told the ABC the driver returned a week ago and lived in a part of the resort with no other residents.
Mr Raman posted his reaction to a Covid press conference from the start of September in which Mr Andrews announced some eased restrictions, labelling the premier a ‘gronk’
‘We’ve got bookings over the weekend. I’m just ringing people and advising them that we’ve had a Covid case so you’re better off to organise to go somewhere else. As if it’s not bad enough as it is,’ he said.
Mr Raman developed symptoms on October 11, the day after he returned from Melbourne, meaning his infectious period dates back to October 9.
‘He is so sick. This is a man in his 30s. He is so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him,’ Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said.
‘We are working very closely with Uber to get information about whether he has had any drives during the time he was infectious.
‘We don’t have venues at this stage because he is so sick and having difficulty communicating with us and difficulty remembering, as you can imagine.’
Uber were quick to issue a statement that said the man had not driven with the service since September 19.
‘We work with public health authorities in each state, and have processes in place to temporarily remove an individual’s access to the Uber app if authorities report an infection,’ it told Daily Mail Australia.
‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk (pictured) said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated’
The rideshare driver went to Robina Hospital emergency department yesterday, having become increasingly unwell following his return from Melbourne on October 10
‘We may also limit other individuals’ access to the app if health authorities advise there is a risk.’
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has urged anyone who had been in the Broadbeach or greater Gold Coast areas since October 11 to monitor for symptoms.
‘It is really important, please use the QR check-in,’ she said, adding compliance in those areas ‘had not always been great’.
Ms Palaszczuk said there were currently 156,000 people on the Gold Coast, 16 and over, who remained unvaccinated.
Although the state’s exposure site list is likely to grow, Ms Palaszczuk said lockdown on the Gold Coast was not likely as a result of the new case because of the area’s relatively high vaccination rate.
Queensland Health figures show more than 60 per cent of people in the Broadbeach area are fully-vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk was speaking in Mackay as part of a week-long tour to encourage vaccination rates in regional Queensland, where rates have been lagging.
The premier announced 73.21 per cent of the state had now received a first dose, while 58.07 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Ms Palaszczuk identified a number of towns where she said vaccination rates were too low given the state’s deadline of a phased reopening by November 19 and a full reopening on December 17.
The new case ends a run of 15 days in which Queensland has not had any community acquired cases of Covid-19 (pictured, locals enjoying a sunny day on the Gold Coast)
She mentioned Bowen at 48.4 per cent having received a first dose of vaccine, Moranbah at 46.5 per cent, Serena at 61 per cent and the Whitsundays at 63 per cent as places where rates were too low.
‘We know Mackay and Proserpine and the Whitsundays are absolutely gateways for tourism,’ she said. ‘We know that, on December 17, there will be tourists coming from all around Australia so please go and get vaccinated.’
Queensland Health plans to turn 100 high schools into mass vaccination clinics across a number of areas of the state with lagging vaccination rates, including Mackay, West Moreton, Cairns, Townsville, Wide Bay, Central Queensland, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Metro South and Metro North.
Yesterday Ms Palaszczuk urged regional residents to ‘hop on the lifeboat’ by getting vaccinated before the December 17 reopening date.
‘I can’t look after you if you won’t hop in the lifeboat,’ she said at a press conference in Maryborough on Wednesday.
‘We need everyone to get on the lifeboat and we’ll be protected. We have 11 days to go to get everyone vaccinated.’
The premier warned the Sunshine State would reopen borders to the rest of Australia on December 17, even if the 80 per cent double-dose target is not reached.