By ERWIN CHLANDA
There is still no strategy for dealing with any Coronavirus outbreak in remote areas of the Northern Territory.
Yuendumu, a remote community 300 km north-west of Alice Springs.
“Plans are still being worked out as each community is working through their local decision making processes what they would like to do specific to their own communities,” says spokesman for the Department of the Chief Minister.
“There is no new information in this regard as there is no community outbreak at this time.”
Meanwhile the Police Association (NTPA) is calling on NT Commissioner Jamie Chalker to urgently outline what plans the department has to mitigate the risk for its members.
Acting NTPA President Lisa Bayliss union presidents from each jurisdiction were discussing the “incredibly slow official response and lack of communication from police departments countrywide, including in the Northern Territory.
“To date our members haven’t been given the answers to crucial concerns around leave arrangements for self – isolation and member s diagnosed with COVID 19 , work from home provisions ; the supply of personal protection equipment and how it will be replenished, cleaning and decontamination procedures, pre-screening arrangements for high-risk areas, safe interaction with the public with regards to front counter, watchhouse and arrests.
“This simply isn’t good enough” says Ms Bayliss.
“The situation is developing rapidly and although there has only been one confirmed case of the virus in the Northern Territory, our members need to know the department has a solid plan to keep them and the community safe.”
As a response to COVID-19 NT Police say they will not setting up roadside breath testing stations but will still “maintain a highly visible presence” and conduct random breath and drug tests.
Additional precautionary measures have been put in place to ensure officers and members of the community are safe, says a police media release.
By ERWIN CHLANDA