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Queensland premier: We are all shocked by this tragedy

Queensland premier Campbell Newman said he was "deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic events in Cairns today", The Guardian reports.

Indeed, the whole Cairns community and the people of Queensland will feel the effects of this tragedy, particularly at a time of year when families come together.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of those concerned.

– Campbell Newman

Public urged to 'nip problems in bud' amid NHS pressure

People are being encouraged to "nip problems in the bud" to avoid going to hospital over the Christmas period.

NHS England said record numbers of emergency patients were admitted last week, with health officials claiming the pressure on A&E services is increasing significantly.

Patients have been told to avoid going to A&E departments this Christmas. Credit: PA Wire

"We have admitted more people to hospital this week (ending December 14) to take care of them than in any previous week on record," Dr Barbara Hakin, national director of commissioning operations for NHS England, said.

"As we come into the holiday period, it is important people continue to look after themselves and nip problems in the bud.

"They should ensure they have proper medication, get their flu jab if they have not done so, and get advice from their pharmacist."

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Hospitals record 'busiest week ever' amid A&E pressure

Hospitals have admitted more people this week than in any previous week on record, NHS England said.

Pressures on A&E services continue to 'increase significantly', NHS England said. Credit: PA Wire

There were 111,062 emergency admissions in England last week - the highest number of emergency patients admitted since records began more than a decade ago.

There were also 440,428 patients attending A&E, an increase of more than 24,000 on the same week last year.

Dr Barbara Hakin of NHS England said pressures on A&E services "continue to increase significantly".

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