Two new COVID cases at Howard Springs facility in children onboard Nov 24 India flight

by | Dec 8, 2020 | COVID-19 | 1 comment

Two children who were onboard a repatriation flight from India have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Howard Springs international quarantine facility, NT health authorities said, two days before they were scheduled to leave the facility.

The eight-year-old girl and 10-year-old boy arrived on the November 24 repatriation flight from New Delhi and tested positive within the last 24 hours.

The NT Independent understands the children were asymptomatic when they arrived in Darwin and only tested positive on their way out of the facility and were still not showing any signs of illness. They will now have to spend another two weeks in quarantine under the care of the AUSMAT team.

Health authorities issued a statement on Tuesday morning that was short on details, but the NT Independent understands health officials are not concerned about possible transmission inside the quarantine facility.

The two new positive COVID cases come only days after six other positive cases last week, including one man in his 30s who came on the same November 24 flight from New Delhi.

India has reported nearly 9.7 million cases of COVID-19, second in the world to the United States.

Health officials previously said all passengers had been screened ahead of the flight to Darwin, however medical experts in India had said 60 per cent of rapid tests in that country were less accurate than longer tests that could take hours.

The two new cases bring the total number of cases diagnosed in the NT to 62, all of which the government said have been related to international or interstate travel with no cases of community transmission.

International travelers are kept in a different section at the quarantine facility than domestic arrivals.

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