NT Records 11 More COVID-19 Infections | Liverpool City Champion

The Northern Territory has detected 11 new COVID-19 infections as an outbreak in the Indigenous Top End community continues to grow.

That brings the group to 51 cases with five people from the indigenous community of Binjari and two residents of Robinson River testing positive.

Three children from the town of Katherine and their father have also been diagnosed with the virus.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said one of the cases, an infected Binjari woman, escaped police and left the community locked up on Tuesday evening.

She drove to Katherine with three other people in a cab before being located at a rally of 11 people on Wednesday morning.

“The woman did not know she had COVID-19,” Gunner told reporters.

“She was on the run to Katherine and she was contagious.”

Katherine is also locked up and the group has now been moved to the quarantine facility at the Center of National Resilience.

“Acting illegally to escape hard lockdown is so dangerous,” Mr. Gunner said.

Sewage testing in and around Katherine continues to show positive results, but Gunner says the virus level is weakening.

“It’s very encouraging,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ADF has lent more staff to the NT’s COVID-19 control efforts, with 125 members now helping to stop the spread of the virus.

About 20 ADF staff were brought to Katherine, 320 km south of Darwin, to support a testing and vaccination blitz.

They help health workers transport members of the indigenous community to and from testing clinics.

Another 40 servicemen are also helping deliver food to vulnerable indigenous communities under extreme restrictions that prevent them from leaving their homes to buy food.

The ADF also operates three vehicle checkpoints around Katherine, with 20 members assisting police at the Tindal, Edith Falls and Binjari branch lines.

“We very much appreciate the support and it will certainly make our ability to respond more broadly to ensure people are compliant in the Katherine area,” said Police Commissioner and Territory Controller Jamie Chalker.

Grand Katherine remains locked up, with authorities saying there will likely be some form of lockdown or lockdown until December 4.

This could be lifted once it reaches the 80% rate of complete vaccines.

The city’s current first dose rate is 83%, with 77% of people fully vaccinated.

The outbreak began when an infected woman entered NT illegally in late October.

The 21-year-old lied on her border entry form before traveling from Cairns to Darwin after visiting Victoria, where she contracted the virus.

She infected a man in Darwin before the virus spread to Katherine and then to the aboriginal communities of Robinson River and Binjari.

The majority of those infected are native territorials.

Binjari, 330 km south of Darwin, and Rockhole remain under extreme lockdown orders.

The 300 inhabitants of the communities are only allowed to leave their homes in an emergency or for medical treatment.

All residents of both communities have now had at least one jab.

Restrictions have eased in Robinson River, 1,000 km southeast of Darwin, in recent days, with the lockdown being downgraded to a lockdown of unvaccinated people.

Associated Australian Press

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