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A council has set up a shipping container to act as a temporary morgue as Covid-19 cases continue to grow on their doorstep.
Queensland Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council Mayor Mislam Sam announced the horrifying move on Facebook to encourage the island's indigenous community to get vaccinated.
The warning came as the northern tip of Australia had already recorded a virus infection, and with 92 active cases at nearby Townsville he said the virus was likely to reach Palm Island.
Queensland reported a huge 2,222 daily cases across the state on Thursday (December 30).
“Clearly Omicron is spreading like wildfire throughout the state,” Mayor Sam said.
“The people who are getting sick are those who are not vaccinated.
"It's already on Thursday Island. There's every reason to think with all the cases in Townsville that some of our residents have already been exposed.
“Wear your mask — even if you don't lawfully need to — and get a booster shot or get vaccinated TODAY.”
The mayor added there are almost 1,000 Palm Islanders who are still not vaccinated, which he called a "serious concern".
Several Indigenous communities live on the Island that has a low 58.4% double vaccination rate, News.com.au reports.
Mayor Sam said in a later Facebook post the temporary morgue should remain as a stark reminder to unvaccinated locals that they are at serious risk.
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“We all look at the current infection numbers and think that’s what will happen here, that we won’t get real sick or die.
“The big difference is our population is massively under vaccinated compared to the rest of Queensland.
“All medical advice to us indicates deaths are anticipated from Covid on Palm and that is an avoidable tragedy waiting to happen,” he said.
He urged people to do their bit so the morgue wouldn't have to be utilised.
“I don’t want to see this temporary morgue used at all but it’s up to people to take care of their own health, their own future,” Mayor Sam said.
“We have too many funerals now. I know this is confronting but it’s time for tough advice to be listened to.”
The photo of the temporary morgue has attracted some criticism from locals, with some disagreeing with the decision.
Others urged residents to get vaccinated and stay safe.
- Covid vaccine
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