Locals dialling hotline for information

Council’s coronavirus hotline received more than 250 calls in its first three days of operation.

Deputy Mayor Terry James, who is Chair of the Local Government Disaster Group, provided an update on the hotline following the sixth meeting today of the Local Leadership Committee (LLC) for the Cairns coronavirus response.

The LLC includes Member for Cairns Michael Healy, Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch and Cairns Mayor Bob Manning.

“We have had a substantial number of calls on the Cairns Local Coronavirus Hotline

(1300 396 102) already and we expect those numbers to increase,” Cr James said.

“A lot of the callers are enquiring about health information and also questions about social distancing.

“We will answer questions to the best of our ability and if we don’t have the answers we will find out the answers and call you back.”

Mr Entsch said all three levels of government were committed to bringing forward proposed construction projects in the region, which would provide long-term employment.

He also welcomed the announcement that exports, such as lobster and coral trout, had restarted out of Cairns.

“I think we can look forward to seeing incomes being generated out of that area. For example, one of the fishing operators has taken his fishing boat out to sea to take advantage of that,” he said.

Mr Entsch said there had also been offers from local businesses to manufacture personal protection equipment.

“Basically converting from a fabric manufacturing business to making gowns and masks, which is being considered very seriously,” he said.

Mr Healy reinforced the need for people to stay at home if possible, and if people were in public they needed to adhere to social distancing measures.

“In the past 24 hours there has been no increase in our confirmed coronavirus numbers,” Mr Healy said. “We have 24 confirmed cases in our region, at this stage none of those are in hospital and all of those I have been informed are mild cases.”

Mr Healy confirmed Queensland Health was conducting contact tracing in relation to a wrestling event at the Edmonton PCYC on 14 March.

“It looks like we have had some local transmission, however I have been informed by Queensland Health that there is very low risk of transmission to other people,” he said.

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