Chief Minister of Australia’s Northern Territory, Michael Gunner, has said that Covid-positive patients and their close contacts are being transferred by military trucks to a remote quarantine camp following an outbreak of the virus.
The comments come after an outbreak of 2 new Covid cases in the town of Katherine in Australia’s Northern territory. One 33-year-old mother and one 67-year-old man tested positive for the virus, and both must now enter quarantine by law.
As a result, the communities of Binjari and Rockhole, just outside the town of Katherine, have been placed under full lockdown.
“As you know, last night, we took urgent action to escalate our response in these communities, immediately implementing a hard lockdown,” said Gunner.
“That means residents of Binjari and Rockhole no longer have the 5 reasons to leave their home. They can only leave for medical treatment, in an emergency, or if required by law.”
Additionally, there have been at least 38 individuals who came into close contact with Covid-positive individuals recently according to Gunner, all of whom must be subjected to quarantine in Howard Springs quarantine camp, which was formerly a mining camp but has since been converted into a place to isolate potential Covid patients.
The flight will carry up to 150 citizens and permanent residents who will be required to spend two weeks in quarantine at a converted mining camp in remote Howard Springs.
— Deccan Herald (@DeccanHerald) May 14, 2021
“It’s highly likely that more residents will be transferred to Howard Springs today, either as positive cases or close contacts,” said Gunner.
This is an absolutely appalling breach of human rights.. 38 indigenous Australians in the Northern Territory have been hauled into quarantine camps by the army. pic.twitter.com/VBrCAg3ZdP
— Pelham (@Resist_05) November 22, 2021
“We’ve already identified 38 close contacts in Binjari, and that number will go up. Those 38 are being transferred now.”
He added: “We are grateful for the support of about 20 ADF [Australia Defence Forces] personnel, as well as army trucks to assist with the transfer of positive cases and close contacts to support the communities.”
It is believed that many of those close contacts in the region are from native aboriginal communities.