The NT Government will not confirm if two people who tested positive for COVID-19 may have visited a remote community.
- All of the 12 cases in the NT have followed isolation protocols
- Government won’t say whether one couple had spent time in a remote community during their period of self-isolation.
- There have been no cases of community transmission so far in the NT
The pair was among five new cases of COVID-19 confirmed by the NT Health Department on Thursday night.
The five includes two couples, one from from Katherine and one from central Australia, as well as a Queensland woman who was transiting through Darwin and is counted in her home state’s tally.
Health Minister Natasha Fyles said all five had followed isolation guidelines.
“I have been advised that all of these visitors have followed the protocols of self-isolation.”
Ms Fyles would not say whether one of the couples had spent time in a remote community during their period of self-isolation.
“Upon returning, the couple from central Australia, they arrived at the airport, got into their car and drove home where they followed protocols and were later tested at home after reporting feeling unwell,” she said.
The couple is now recovering at Alice Springs Hospital.
“These people followed the process of isolation.”
An NT Government statement on Thursday night said all five people had returned from overseas travel and were under NT Health supervision.
To date there have been no cases of community transmission in the NT.
Indigenous groups concerned about virus impact
Indigenous health groups have been seriously concerned about any spread of COVID-19 in remote Indigenous communities where there are high rates of chronic disease and limited health resources.
Under new regulations that came into effect at midnight, further restrictions were placed on access to remote communities in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
How do I get tested in the NT?
- If you can’t contact or get to your GP, but you have the symptoms, you should call 1800 008 002
- This is a dedicated NT-wide coronavirus (COVID-19) number for people who need to arrange testing only
- If you live in Darwin and need to arrange testing, call the Public Health Unit on 8922 8044
- Patients who are tested should remain isolated at home until they receive their test results
- For general advice, Territorians can call 1800 020 080
Under the restrictions, anyone other than essential service workers wanting to enter a remote community must now self-isolate for 14 days prior, including residents wanting to return home.
Communities within nine remote NT local government areas have become designated areas under powers in the Biosecurity Act.
Non-essential travel to remote communities had already been stopped by the NT Government and land councils.
But Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt said the isolation requirement meant all movements in and out of communities of vulnerable people would be more tightly controlled.
Contact tracing continues
Contact tracing is continuing for cases of COVID-19 in the NT, the NT Government said.
The NT Government said anyone who travelled on the following flights are being asked call the Public Health Unit.
Those flights are:
The Queensland woman in her 20s arrived in Darwin on Thursday 26 March on Qantas flight QF2 from London and went to Royal Darwin Hospital.
The Katherine couple, aged in their 60s, had returned from a holiday in South Africa on Silk Air flight MI801 from Singapore to Darwin on Saturday 21 March.
The Central Australian couple had been on holiday in Austria and returned to the NT on Jetstar flight JQ664 from Melbourne to Yulara on Sunday 22 March.
The NT Public Health Unit can be contacted on 08 8922 8044.
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