Federal Health Minister uses Biosecurity Act to stop entry into Robinson River

by | Nov 17, 2021 | COVID-19, News | 0 comments

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has invoked a section of the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act to stop people from entering and leaving Robinson River and surrounding homelands.

In a press statement On Wednesday morning Mr Hunt said the determination under section 477 of the Act was based on medical advice from the acting chief medical officer Dr Sonya Bennett.

“These measures will help to prevent and contain the current COVID-19 outbreak in Robinson River, and will assist in preventing the emergence, establishment and spread of the disease to neighbouring remote communities in the Northern Territory,” he wrote.

Mr Hunt said the determination was requested by the Northern Territory Government to supplement restrictions it had implemented and was supported by the Northern Land Council and the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance of the Northern Territory.

He said the determination was informed by the predictive modelling on an outbreak in a remote community by the Kirby Institute and University of Melbourne and modelling looking at an outbreak in a remote community in the context of vaccination by the Doherty Institute

The statement said the measures will be in place until Thursday at 6pm.

On Tuesday the NT recorded another nine positive COVID-19 cases from the Katherine and Robinson River outbreak.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner told a press conference all those nine cases were Indigenous people in Katherine who were close household contacts with the two cases reported yesterday.

On Monday the NT recorded its first positive case of COVID-19 in a remote community, with two new 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.

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