Northern Territory records 11 new local Covid-19 cases, sparking fresh fears about outbreak

Emily CosenzaNCA NewsWire
Not Supplied
Camera IconNot Supplied Credit: News Corp Australia

Almost a dozen new locally acquired Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the Northern Territory, including a person who skipped the lockdown and travelled to another town.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the good news was that 10 of the 11 new infections were in people already placed in quarantine.

However, it was revealed the eleventh case was one of “serious concern” related to an unknowingly infected woman and three others who evaded the community of Binjari’s lockdown and travelled to Katherine in a taxi.

Authorities said the woman was infectious the entire time she was out in the Katherine community.

She was found at a public housing property on Wednesday morning with a group of people, including the three others she travelled with.

So far, 11 close contacts of that woman — including the taxi driver — have been identified.

“The positive case shows why the hard lockdown in Binjari is so critical and why acting illegally can be so dangerous,” Mr Gunner said.

“It also shows why the lockdown in Katherine is so important.

“We may need to reset the 14-day (lockdown) clock as a result of what happened today.”

Mr Gunner on Tuesday said Katherine’s lockdown would be extended until December 4.

Press Conference 22 Nov 21
Camera IconChief Minister Michael Gunner said the woman was unknowingly infectious while out in the community. Amanda Parkinson Credit: News Corp Australia

While the woman was unaware she was positive, Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said the actions of the four people impacted several thousand others in Katherine.

“That’s how serious this is,” he said.

“The transmissibility that we’ve seen so far shouldn't give us comfort. In fact, it gives us concern.

“We were hoping and trusting in human compliance but unfortunately this has been a significant step backwards and it's really, really disappointing.”

Mr Chalker said the woman would likely to be fined $5024 for breaching Covid-19 directions.

The three others involved could also each receive a penalty after an investigation into the incident.

Camera IconEleven new locally acquired Covid-19 cases were recorded on Wednesday. NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard Credit: News Corp Australia

Of Wednesday’s new infections, three were children from the same family after one of their parents previously tested positive.

One of those children was isolating with their mother at the Centre for National Resilience while the other two were quarantining at their Katherine East home with their father.

The remaining seven cases presented in close contacts who were all isolating in the Centre for National Resilience.

The new infections bring the Darwin-Katherine-Robinson River cluster to 51.

Lockdown Katherine
Camera IconKatherine will remain in a lockdown until December 4. Amanda Parkinson Credit: News Corp Australia

Originally published as Northern Territory records 11 new local Covid-19 cases, sparking fresh fears about outbreak

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