Four Australian Defence Force members serving in the Middle East are in Royal Darwin Hospital after testing positive for coronavirus, the Defence Force has said.
In a statement, Defence said five members in total tested positive after some local contractors working with them had tested positive.
The four, who were asymptomatic, flew into Darwin on a “Defence sustainment flight” and were transferred from the RAAF Base to the hospital, in accordance with all health and safety requirements, the statement said.
It said the other member, who recently completed their deployment, previously returned to Australia and is in mandatory quarantine in Brisbane.
NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said Defence will decide later whether the infected troops will remain in the NT for care or be allowed to their home states. It’s not believed any of the four are from the NT.
Defence said they were from “a range of units around Australia”.
“I want to reassure Territorians that in no way did they mix with the public,” Ms Fyles said. “The flight landed in Darwin around 6am this morning and four personnel who have tested positive to COVID-19 were then escorted by St John Ambulance to Royal Darwin Hospital.
“Those personnel that are now in Royal Darwin Hospital will be cared for clinically and be assessed by our clinic.”
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said on Thursday that five other personnel on the ADF flight who were untested would be put in supervised quarantine at an undisclosed location in Darwin.