Saturday, September 25, 2021

The freedom of the press still furnishes that check upon government which no constitution has ever been able to provide – Chicago Tribune.

HomeIssue 25Government stonewalls Covid risk to Alice

Government stonewalls Covid risk to Alice

By ERWIN CHLANDA and OSCAR PERRI

The NT Government is not disclosing details of traffic between Darwin and Alice Springs ahead of a lock-down at noon today of Top End centres including the capital and Katherine.

The government is also tight-lipped about the man in his 30s who tested positive last night after arriving in Darwin by air on August 12.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Hugh Heggie would not answer a question at a media conference about the man’s profession but he said: “His expertise is actually something that is needed for the Northern Territory.” The man had come from the United States.

He had visited several shops and other facilities in Darwin and Katherine frequented by tourists at a time when the self-drive tourist season is at its peak.

The News asked Covid Media: How many  people travelled from Darwin and Katherine to Alice Springs since the outbreak stated; and what action has been taken with respect to these travellers?

We received no response.

The shops and places frequented by the infected man include: Darwin Mini Mart in Smith Street; Salvatores, Corner of Knuckey Street; Outback Steaks and Curry, Mitchell Street; Knotts Crossing Resort reception; Avis car rental, Darwin Airport; Smith Street Mall again; Darwin Hilton Hotel lobby; Woolworths and Oasis shopping centre, both in Katherine.

Is NT Health confident that no one in Central Australia has been to any of the exposure sites just announced, the Alice Springs News asked. If so, how?

Was locking down Central Australia considered?

Is the number of interstate travellers moving around the Territory a concern for contact tracers?

The man had completed a 14 days quarantine in Sydney after returning from overseas, then travelling to Darwin on Thursday, August 12, via Canberra Airport. Where he contracted the virus remains unknown.

The NT Electoral Commission has confirmed that pre-polling for council elections across the Territory is on hold until Thursday, depending on how the situation unfolds.

The virus variant is unknown, but Dr Heggie says the department is working on the assumption that it is Delta.

After a few days in Darwin, staying in the Hilton Hotel, the asymptomatic case took his mandatory “Day 3” test, then travelled to Katherine where a positive test was returned.

After isolating in his hotel room there, he has since been taken to Howard Springs.

Darwin, Palmerston, Darwin Rural area and Katherine Municipal area, are all under lockdown orders until Thursday.

The NT Electoral Commission has confirmed that pre-polling for council elections across the Territory is on hold until Thursday, depending on how the situation unfolds.

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