COVID-19 infected woman catches taxi into Katherine from Binjari, 11 new confirmed cases

by | Nov 24, 2021 | COVID-19, News | 0 comments

There have been 11 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Katherine Robinson River outbreak in the last 24 hours the Chief Minister Michael Gunner has said, including a woman who sneaked out of the Binjari community to a caravan park and caught a taxi and was in Katherine overnight.

Mr Gunner told a press conference this morning that on Tuesday night four people from the Binjari community, which is in hard lockdown, evaded NT Police and caught a taxi from a caravan park into Katherine. He said included in the group was a woman who returned a positive COVID-19 result this morning.

“The woman did not know she had COVID-19 when she was at large in Katherine, and she was infectious,” he said.

“She was found about 10 minutes ago (about 10.55am) by police at a location in Katherine, along with the three people she left Binjari with, there were seven others at the location.”

Mr Gunner said they had all been moved to Howard Springs quarantine.

He said of the other new cases, three were children from the same family, with one already in quarantine with her mother who has COVID-19. The two other children were quarantining with their father at a home in Katherine East. Mr Gunner said the father was also showing symptoms but had tested negative.

He said the other seven positive cases were close contacts of positive cases, and all were already at Howard Springs.

Mr Gunner said as the results had recently been returned he did not have much detail about the people but said five were from Binjari, and two from Robinson River, and officials believed they had only become infectious while in quarantine.

It takes the total number of cases from this outbreak to 51.

He said the wastewater in the Bicentennial Rd area of Katherine East where the children lived had remained COVID-19 positive but the golf course area wastewater was now negative and Mr Gunner said authorities believed they could link the previous positive results there to a previous case.

While there Rockhole wastewater was negative, Mr Gunner said there was a “presumptive positive’ at Berrimah but he said this was not a cause for alarm and it would be re-tested.

Acting chief health officer Dr Charles Pain said presumptive positive did not mean confirmed positive, and sometimes they could be false positives and they not only repeated the sampling but also ran the test again.

Previously said it was known that people shed fragments of the virus (including into wastewater) for months after clinically recovering from COVID-19.

Binjari put in ‘hard lockdown’ over the weekend

On Saturday night, the NT Government announced there were nine new cases in the Binjari community on the edge of Katherine and put it and the nearby Rockhole community in a “hard lockdown”, meaning residents are only able to leave their homes and yards for medical treatment or in an emergency.

On Friday, there were two new confirmed positive COVID-19 cases recorded in the Katherine, taking the Katherine and Robinson River outbreak cluster total to 25.

It was Thursday, when genomic sequencing results confirmed the Katherine Robinson River outbreak and the earlier Great Darwin Katherine outbreak were linked.

It has been traced back to a 21-year-old woman who flew to Darwin from Cairns but had spent time in Melbourne and who allegedly lied on her border entry form.

Her positive COVID-19 result came after a close contact, a 26-year-old man who had spent time in Katherine and Darwin, tested positive on November 4.

His positive results triggered a lockdown in Katherine and a lockout in Darwin, during which three more positive cases emerged.

It was Monday last week, when the NT recorded its first positive case of COVID-19 in a remote community – and the Katherine-Robinson River cluster started – with two positive cases reported – one in a 43-year-old vaccincated man from Katherine, and the other case in a unvaccinated 30-year-old woman who was also in Robinson River, near Borroloola.

You can find a list of updated contact sites here.

(Visited 2,353 times, 11 visits today)