QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk criticised for suggesting Omicron could be ‘far more serious than Delta


Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been criticised for suggesting the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could be “far more serious” than the Delta strain.

Ms Palaszczuk made the comment in state parliament on Tuesday while addressing the discovery of a COVID patient with Omicron in the community in New South Wales.

“I’m very concerned now that there is a community case of Omicron in New South Wales,” the premier said.

“This is very worrying.

“The fact that countries have closed their borders indicates to me it is far more serious than Delta.”

It is not yet known if Omicron is more “serious” than Delta, according to health experts.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Credit: AAP

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said hours prior to the premier’s comments that “it’s going to take time for us to work out” how Omicron differs to the highly virulent Delta strain.

The state opposition’s health spokeswoman Ros Bates said Palaszczuk was providing crucial health advice “from the hip”.

“At a time health experts should be guiding the conversation, the premier is sowing more chaos and confusion when we need calm and measured messaging,” Ms Bates told 7NEWS.com.au.

“The premier has made inaccurate claims before about AstraZeneca and children, which damaged Queensland’s vaccine rollout.

‘From the hip’

“Now she’s dishing out her own health advice about a new variant of concern with very little information to back up her claims.

“Queenslanders searching for certainty are getting tired of the premier constantly politicising the pandemic and firing her own medical advice from the hip.

“Queenslanders deserve better.”

A number of countries including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, as well as states in the European Union, have restricted travel from southern African countries over fears of the variant.

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