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NT records no new COVID-19 cases

NT COVID-19
Chief Minister Michael Gunner says the NT has recorded no new COVID-19 cases. Photo: AAP
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The Northern Territory has recorded no new COVID-19 cases amid an outbreak in a remote Indigenous community and the Top End’s biggest town.

But Chief Minister Michael Gunner has warned the crisis is not over after the NT detected 19 cases among Indigenous Territorians in three days.

“There were no new positive cases in the NT overnight,” Mr Gunner told reporters on Thursday.

“This is good news, but it is not a day to get ahead of ourselves.”

He said people should not assume the outbreak is under control and the virus trapped.

“This is Delta, it’s in large vulnerable households, we’re not out of the woods,” he said.

It comes as authorities wait for COVID-19 test results that are likely to reveal the source of the latest outbreak.

Genomic test results due on Thursday are expected to confirm if the current cluster is linked to the NT’s first community transmission earlier in the month.

That was triggered by a woman who unlawfully travelled to the NT from Cairns after visiting Victoria, where she became infected.

Wastewater testing from across the NT is also due, with expectations it will indicate whether the virus has spread beyond Katherine and Robinson River.

The latest outbreak in the Top End started on Monday when a 30-year-old woman and a 43-year-old man from Katherine, 320km south of Darwin, were reported as infected.

The woman was unvaccinated and travelled from Katherine to Robinson River where she was diagnosed with the virus, the first case reported in a remote NT Aboriginal community.

Nine new cases were detected in Katherine on Tuesday, including a 71-year-old man and a 65-year-old woman who has been admitted to Royal Darwin Hospital.

Eight new cases were reported on Wednesday, with five infections diagnosed in Robinson River, including a three-week-old girl.

All those infected are Indigenous Territorians and all are household contacts living in communities where overcrowding in homes is rife.

Greater Katherine and Robinson River were plunged into a three-day lockdown when the first cases were announced on Monday.

That was extended to seven days in Katherine on Tuesday, with a territory-wide order to wear face masks in most public areas.

NT Health also extended it to next Monday in Robinson River after the new cases were announced on Wednesday.

– AAP