People are seen at the Brisbane domestic airport terminal, the Queensland Government has announced that they will close the state's borders to stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, beginning at midnight on Wednesday and they will force anyone entering Queensland to quarantine themselves for 14 days after their arrival. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Queensland's coronavirus tally has reached 397 as the government promised more intensive care beds, tripling the crisis call centre and employing more health professionals.
Health Minister Steven Miles said the state had so far conducted more than 37,300 tests for coronavirus, of which 78 were positive overnight, and taken 43,000 calls relating to a COVID-19.
Overall, one-in-four coronavirus tests in Australia had been conducted in Queensland, he said.
#LIVE: Health Minister Steven Miles and Queensland Health Director General John Wakefield are providing an update on #COVID19 cases and new funding for health services. #coronavirus #9News https://t.co/xxXU61xwYV— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) March 24, 2020
"That is amongst, if not the, highest rate of testing anywhere in the world," he said.
Earlier, Treasurer Jackie Trad pledged $1.2 billion for the health sector, which Mr Miles said would be used to "ramp up" testing, lift the call centre capacity from 300 to 1600 seats and boost the number of doctors and nurses.
#LIVE: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad are addressing the media in relation to Queensland's #coronavirus response.— Nine News Gold Coast (@9NewsGoldCoast) March 24, 2020
Latest #COVID19 updates: https://t.co/2dFDkX8zOv #9News https://t.co/cnr2ysHHLw
There would also be more fever clinics and hospital wards would be expanded.
"There are 27 public fever clinics open, and this funding will allow us to open more," he said.
The funding increase comes ahead of Queensland's border closing at midnight on Wednesday to people not travelling for work, medical appointments or carrying freight.
Border travel will be policed in an RBT-style with officers to determine who needs to cross as the state tries to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Officials are working with airlines to ensure passengers know what will happen when they arrive in Queensland before they board flights.
Travelling from Tweed to Coolangatta for work is allowed.
"People should stay in their own state," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Tuesday.
"As far as possible, they should be staying in their suburbs and as much as possible staying at home."
Travelling to work, to the supermarket, the pharmacy and the petrol station is classed as essential.
Travel for all other purposes is highly discouraged.
A $4 billion package has also been announced to cover the state's additional health ($1.2bn) needs and relieve financial pressure on households and businesses.
Households will receive a $200 rebate on their electricity bill to take in the extra power and water usage while people are asked to stay home.
Some $300 million will be directed to reduce the cost of living for households and further funding for payroll tax relief for businesses.
© AAP 2020