Lockdown lifted for Katherine as no COVID cases reported

by | Aug 20, 2021 | COVID-19 | 0 comments

Katherine’s lockdown has been lifted, after no new cases of COVID-19 were detected in the NT, following the mysterious case of one infected man who arrived in town on Sunday who does not appear to have infected anyone else.

Katherine and Darwin were thrown into lockdown on Monday for three days, with Katherine’s lockdown extended to Friday at noon.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said no cases had been reported in Katherine or Darwin overnight and the lockdown could be lifted, with restrictions such as wearing a mask remaining in place for the next week.

“That extra 24 hours … gives us confidence going forward. But we are not out of the woods,” she said.

“People do need to remain vigilant, particularly to their personal health. If you are starting to feel symptomatic, isolate and get tested.”

Health officials said all 89 close contacts of the man who triggered the lockdowns had tested negative so far.

Ms Fyles said all test results of 646 casual contacts were also so far negative.

Ms Fyles said one in eight Katherine residents had been tested.

There have been 6,689 test completed since lockdown commenced on Monday.

Facemasks must be worn when residents are unable to physically distance, including at shops and on public transport. Cafes and pubs will only be permitted to serve seated customers, with dance floors remaining closed. Gyms will also remain closed until next week.

The lockdown was ordered after a man who had flown from the US quarantined for 14 days in hotel in Sydney before flying to Darwin via Canberra.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said health officials still had no idea where the index case contracted the delta strain of COVID-19.

“Right now, the source of the infection remains a mystery is probably one of the most unusual cases we have seen in Australia,” Mr Gunner said.

“We noticed the Delta strain, but we cannot yet link the specific particular strain to any other case, anywhere else in Australia. It will take weeks to solve this mystery.

“Once that mystery is solved, it could have policy implications for the rest of the country.”

Sydney airport and Canberra airport are now considered hotspots for the purposes of entering the NT, even for people transiting through them.

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