The unvaccinated Uber driver who is ‘so sick with Covid he can barely speak’ and publicly labelled Daniel Andrews a ‘gronk’ has been identified as Duran Raman.
The ride-share driver and exercise enthusiast tested positive to the virus on Wednesday, bringing an end to Queensland’s 15-day run of Covid-free days.
Mr Raman, aged in his 30s, has lived in a private resort in Broadbeach resort for about 12 months and was infectious in the community for up to 10 days.
The Broadbeach man has previously reposted anti-vax videos on his social media and has gone as far as to label the Victorian Premier a ‘gronk’.
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
Mr Raman tested positive at Robina Hospital on the Gold Coast on Wednesday and was unvaccinated, with the premier announcing the new case on Thursday.
The gym junkie is 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.
The ride-share driver has allegedly forgone using Queensland’s QR check-in system in over a month, making the lives of scrambling health officials even more difficult.
Mr Raman shared his reaction to a Victorian Covid press conference from the start of September in which the premier Dan Andrews announced some eased restrictions.
He captioned the video posted to his Instagram: ‘Mr Gronk. A dead set gronk’.
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’
The premier announced playgrounds would be reopening and authorised workers would be permitted in homes to provide services such as childcare.
‘Yay. The playgrounds are going to reopen. Wow,’ he 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 Mr Raman 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.’
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 Mr Raman returned a week ago and lived in a part of the resort with no other residents.
‘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.
‘This is a wake-up call for the Gold Coast,’ Ms Palaszczuk said. ‘The issue about this gentleman is that they were not vaccinated’
No lockdown will be imposed on the Gold Coast as a result of the new case, Ms Palaszczuk said
‘This is a man in his 30s… so sick that we are having difficulties talking to him and getting information from him,’ Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said of the Uber driver
Mr Raman developed symptoms on October 11, the day after his return from Melbourne, meaning his infectious period dates back to October 9.
He became increasingly unwell before presenting to the Robina Hospital emergency department on Wednesday, where two separate tests confirmed he was positive.
‘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.
‘We may also limit other individuals’ access to the app if health authorities advise there is a risk.’
The new case ends a run of 15 days in which Queensland has not had any community acquired cases of Covid-19
She urged anyone who had been in the Broadbeach or greater Gold Coast areas since October 11 to monitor for Covid symptoms.
There is currently no Covid-19 exposure sites listed in the Gold Coast.
‘It is really important, please use the QR check-in,’ she said.
The infected man was later transferred to the Gold Coast University Hospital.
Ms Palaszczuk said there were currently 156,000 people on the Gold Coast, 16 and over, who remained unvaccinated.
A lockdown on the Gold Coast was not likely as a result of the new case because of the area’s relatively high vaccination rate, Ms Palaszczuk said.
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.
Island Beach resort at Broadbeach on the Gold Coast, where the man had lived for the past 12 months
The rideshare driver went to Robina Hospital emergency department yesterday, having become increasingly unwell following his return from Melbourne on October 10
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.
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.’
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