Lockout extended in Alice Springs, Amoonguna, Yuendumu and Yuelumu as the NT records 314 new cases

87 1

A lockout has been extended in Alice Springs and the remote communities of Amoonguna, Yuendumu, and Yuelamu for a further seven days, the NT Health Minister has announced, as Central Australia's COVID-19 case numbers remain at a "concerning" level.

"What is concerning is the movement of [people]," Natasha Fyles said.

"We're seeing small case numbers popping up in large numbers of communities … we know that we have a very transient community, and we're seeing that with our case numbers."

Under lockout restrictions, unvaccinated people can only leave their homes for essential reasons, while people who are fully vaccinated can live as normal with a mask mandate.

A lockdown has also been extended for another week in Galiwin'ku in East Arnhem Land.

Gunyangara (Ski Beach) will enter a seven-day lockdown, as will Utopia in Central Australia and Wurrumiyanga on the Tiwi Islands.

It comes as the NT recorded 314 new COVID-19 cases overnight, more than two-thirds of which were detected using rapid antigen tests.

Sixty-three COVID patients are in hospital, with six receiving oxygen, and one is in intensive care.

It's the ninth day in a row the number of COVID-19 hospitalisations in the NT has increased.

Of the 4,048 active coronavirus cases in the NT, she said about 1,500 were in the Top End, 500 in Central Australia, 70 in East Arnhem Land, 200 in Big Rivers, and about 30 in the Barkly.

Utopia residents urged to get vaccinated

The community of Utopia's lockdown began from 2 pm today, Ms. Fyles said.

"This is a community of concern for us," she said.

"There were 22 new cases in Utopia, and these cases were across four outstations."

Ms. Fyles said the double-dose vaccination rate in Utopia was around 40 percent.

"We really need the residents of Utopia to come forward and get vaccinated," she said.

"It is not too late. Our health teams will not be asking you questions — they simply want you vaccinated."

Eight new cases were recorded at Amoonguna, and one new case was recorded at Yuelamu.

No new cases were recorded in Yuendumu, but Ms. Fyles said, "the situation there remains concerning".

"Certainly we believe that COVID is present in that community, and people need to be very vigilant," she said.

COVID-19 cases detected across the NT

Three new COVID-19 cases were recorded at Harts Range, all of whom are believed to have been infectious while in the community.

One new case was recorded at Docker River in a busy household with a large number of people, while another was recorded at Mount Leibig, one at Hermannsburg, and one at Ti-Tree.

Ms. Fyles said she understood coronavirus cases were present in all the town camps in Alice Springs.

Five new cases were recorded in Mataranka in the Big Rivers region. 

Ten new cases were recorded in Galiwin'ku in East Arnhem Land, bringing the total number of cases there to 62 across 24 households. 

On the Gove Peninsula, two new cases were recorded at Yirrkala, bringing that total cluster to 13, and five new cases were recorded at Gunyangara (Ski Beach).

One new case was recorded at Milingimbi, and on Groote Eylandt, five new cases were recorded at Umbakumba, and two new cases at Angurugu.

Lockdown for Tiwi Islands community

On the Tiwi Islands, one new case was recorded in Wurrumiyanga, which also entered a seven-day lockdown at 2 pm.

"We have got strong concerns from the community, that they're worried just with some social unrest," Ms. Fyles said. 

"I understand that there's a large funeral that was intended to be held soon."

Ms. Fyles said the lockdown was intended to limit movement and help authorities boost testing numbers in the community.

Of the new cases identified in Darwin, Ms. Fyles said one was recorded at the Darwin prison and one at a Salvation Army hostel that was identified by Danila Dilba Aboriginal health service.

Nine new cases were recorded at the Batten Road accommodation centre, in Marrara, all of whom have been transferred to the Howard Springs quarantine facility.

Ms. Fyles said 315 people were currently isolating at Howard Springs.

She said there was "plenty of capacity" for coronavirus patients to isolate there if they felt well enough to be transferred from Royal Darwin or Palmerston hospitals to free up some beds.

"But if we've got a highly vaccinated population, if we can slow that spread, our health resources and our services can match the demand."

NT Acting Chief Health Officer Marco Briceno said coronavirus cases in the NT had stabilised over the past few weeks, with about 400 to 450 new cases on average recorded per day.

"We have seen in recent days a slight increase in our hospitalisations, and that is to be expected," Dr. Briceno said. 

"Hospitalisations tend to be late in the onset of the disease, and then to present later on and peak later."

He said the Territory's hospital admissions now represent 1.6 percent of active cases across the Territory. 

He said many of those COVID patients were in the hospital for reasons unrelated to treatment for coronavirus.

Dr. Briceno also said health authorities in remote Aboriginal communities were prioritising patients that required a higher level of care due to pre-existing health conditions, followed by people who cannot safely isolate at home, followed by general community members.


  • hasan


    7:05 AM, 23-01-2022

    Thanks for sharing and my advice is wearing mask always and keep distance

    0 Reply

Leave a Comment

Related News