Eight new cases of COVID-19 recorded in NT while remote community outbreak is growing

The five new infections at the remote Robinson River community, 1000 km southeast of Darwin, are all domestic contacts.

It brings the total number of cases in the community from about 350 to six.

They include a 13-year-old girl and a 21-year-old woman, along with the baby girl. Two men aged 23 and 29 are also infected.

Read more

Image to read further article

“We have a clear delivery in Robinson River, that’s what we cared about, that’s what we feared,” said on-duty Health Officer Charles Pain.

Katherine’s new cases are two women, aged 21 and 38, and a 36-year-old man who are close contacts of the other 10 cases diagnosed in the city.

All new cases are or are being transferred to the Center for National Resistance to quarantine, with 234 close contacts identified.

“The situation in Robinson River and Katherine is serious,” Gunner said.

“We know how quickly Delta can spread within homes and we still can’t be sure it hasn’t spread further into the (two) communities or wider into the territory.”

Anyone who has visited or left Katherine since Nov. 7 and Robinson River since Nov. 11 has been said to be tested while health authorities try to overcome the blast.

Mr Gunner said it was likely but not confirmed that the cluster was linked to the NT’s first community broadcast explosion, which was triggered several weeks ago by a woman who was traveling illegally to Cairns’ NT after visiting Victoria.

Genome test results are expected Thursday.

The latest outbreak in the Peak End began Monday when a 30-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man from Katherine were reported infected.

The woman is the sister of federal senator Malarndirri McCarthy.

She is also unvaccinated and traveled from Katherine to Robinson River where she was diagnosed with the virus, the first case reported in a remote NT indigenous community.

Senator McCarthy on Wednesday said she spoke with some of her cousins ​​in Katherine and they were all doubly vaccinated.

“There was certainly no hesitation (about getting the vaccine),” she told the ABC.

But more needs to be done to counter negative attitudes toward receiving the sting, the senator added, pointing to messages in First Nations languages.

Overcrowded housing and low vaccination rates are bothering many indigenous communities across the NT, with reports some homes in Robinson River have 20 residents.

Health workers have so far tested 138 people in the community with only five positive results returned.

About 77 percent of Robinson River residents are fully vaccinated and 87 percent had their first sting, with an ongoing vaccine blitz expected to raise rates.

Health teams were also sent to Katherine and the communities surrounding it and Robinson River for testing and vaccine blitzkrieg.

Dr Pain said vaccination rates need to be increased to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed.

“We have been planning for this for a very long time, but I do acknowledge that we are already under pressure,” he said.

“We have high demands on our healthcare system in the territory.”

The previously diagnosed cases in Katherine include a 71-year-old man, five-year-old twin girls, and a 65-year-old woman who were admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital.

Four women – aged 62, 40, 38 and 22 – also tested positive, along with a 16-year-old girl.

All are home contacts and Indigenous Territories.

One of the group is a tutor at an elementary school in Katherine, which has been listed as an exhibition space with three close contacts identified to date.

Homeless people in the city were offered hotel rooms or other accommodation.

Greater Katherine and Robinson River were plunged into a three-day lockout Monday evening.

This was later extended in Katherine until Monday, with a territorial order to wear face masks in most public areas.

Leave a Comment