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Alice Springs to go into lockdown after man with symptoms visits airport, tests positive interstate

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THE Red Centre has been plunged into a three-day lockdown after an contaminated man spent virtually seven hours within the Alice Springs Airport, whereas the Top End stays on observe to be liberated on Friday.

Authorities have been solely alerted to the Alice Springs publicity after 4 relations of the man, who travelled from the Tanami Desert gold mine, examined positive for Covid-19 in South Australia on Wednesday.

The miner, who initially examined destructive for the virus, has since been retested and confirmed as a positive case.

He transited by way of the Alice Springs Airport between 9.20am and three.50pm on Friday, June 25. Anyone within the terminal’s cafe between these instances has been deemed a detailed contact and can want to go into 14 days self quarantine and get examined.

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Camera IconChief Minister Michael Gunner, alongside CHO Dr Hugh Heggie. Che Chorley Credit: News Corp Australia

People within the departure and arrivals lounge of the Alice Springs Airport in that interval have additionally been labeled as informal contacts and can want to isolate till they obtain a destructive Covid-19 outcome.

It’s understood he has the extremely contagious Delta pressure of coronavirus, which has been recognized to transmit from particular person to particular person after solely fleeting contact.

Concerns over the variant’s infectiousness and Alice Springs’ susceptible inhabitants prompted Northern Territory authorities to declare a snap lockdown within the Central Australian city from 1pm on Wednesday.

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South Australian Chief Public Health Officer Professor Nicola Spurrier she is taking an “absolute abundance of caution” and is telling 108 individuals to quarantine due to a “doable false destructive” COVID-19 test. She said a worker from the Northern Territory Tanami mine site travelled on a Virgin flight from Alice Springs to Adelaide on Friday but “tested negative” after being contacted. Professor Spurrier said the man was retested on Tuesday after showing symptoms, along with his wife, and “both those tests have come back positive”. “Now because I am going to take an absolute abundance of caution because I do not want this Delta wave in our community, for obvious reasons, we are going to be considering that could possibly have been a false negative test on Saturday,” she said. “And because of that we have determined that everybody that was on that flight will be going into quarantine.”

There were no new locally acquired cases of Covid-19 reported in the Northern Territory on Wednesday.

NT chief health officer Hugh Heggie said contact tracers were scouring over hours of CCTV footage from the airport to figure out the most at-risk areas and people.

“This does pose a risk to the community of Alice Springs,” Dr Heggie said.

“The best thing you can do is stay where you are, stay at home or if you are from out of Alice Springs, find someone else you can stay with.”

Masks also became mandatory in Alice Springs as part of the lockdown, with residents also rushing to the shops despite pleas not to panic buy.

Supplied Editorial Alice Springs Airport terminal IMAGE: Airplane Boneyards
Camera IconAlice Springs Airport terminal. Airplane Boneyards Credit: Supplied

Shoppers began packing into the Alice Springs Woolworths within minutes of the announcement, with essential items such as bread and toilet paper stripped from shelves before 12.30pm.

People were lining up at pharmacies to buy masks, which are being sold in a pack of 10 for $10, with a one-pack limit per person.

Streets were lined with cars looking for a park or leaving work in the CBD and businesses, including in the Todd Mall, closed early.

Dr Heggie said there were now about 12 million Australians living in lockdown nationwide.

However, Chief Minister Michael Gunner flagged the Top End’s lockdown was still on track to end at 1pm Friday.

“Early indications (on Wednesday) were positive,” Mr Gunner said.

Alice Springs will enter a 72 hour lockdown from 1:00pm local time, despite there being no new cases of COVID-19. Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said a miner from the Tanami site, who has tested negative, has now developed symptoms so the territory must act under the assumption that he has COVID-19. “He arrived at the airport via a charter flight on Friday morning and remained at the airport between 9:00am and 3:50pm. He did not exit the airport. On Saturday 26 June, after returning to Adelaide, he got a Covid test. That result was not positive,” Mr Gunner said. “However, he has since developed symptoms whereas isolating in Adelaide and 4 of his 5 family contacts have now examined positive. For this cause, we consider he’s positive for COVID-19 and we consider that he’s extremely infectious. “It is unlikely that he was highly infectious during his time at Alice Springs airport. But, like all other decisions we will not take a punt on this. We will operate on the assumption that he has COVID-19 and we will operate on the assumption that he was infectious while in the Territory. “Effective from 1:00pm today, Alice Springs will enter a full lockdown for 72 hours.”

“We still want to see some results back but having no new exposure sites puts us on a very good footing for 1pm on Friday.”

“(Thursday’s) wastewater result will be even more informative but so far the results are on track for where we would like to be for a 1pm lifting.”

Mr Gunner urged Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield to continue taking lockdown and mask requirements seriously.

So far, none of the close contacts to an infected patron at the Buff Club in Stuart Park have tested positive.

Contact tracers were still trying to locate eight of the 179 close contacts at the venue between 3.30pm and 8pm last Friday.

PALMERSTON EXPOSURE SITES

CLOSE CONTACT SITES (HIGH RISK)

A Zumba class at a pop-up tent at the Palmerston Recreation Centre between 9am and 9.30am on Saturday, June 26.

About 25 people, including the instructor, were identified and are required to self-isolate immediately and get tested for Covid-19. People must stay in isolation for a full 14 days.

CASUAL CONTACT SITES (MEDIUM RISK)

The Palmerston flea market on Saturday, June 26 between 7.45am and 8.45am, and 9.30am and 9.45am.

A public toilet in the area has also been identified, but times are yet to be released.

Female public toilet at 1 Chung Wah Terrace between 9.40am to 9am on Saturday, June 26.

Anyone who visited the venue at these times is required to self-isolate and get tested, and stay in isolation until they return a negative test.

A number of stores within Gateway Shopping Centre have been identified as casual contact sites. Anyone who attended the following between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, June 26 is required to self-isolate and get tested until a negative result is returned:

Rockmans’s clothing store

Big W (pet section)

Hoskings Jewellers

Woolworths

Pharmacy 4 Less Gateway

Gateway Shopping Centre Underground Carpark

LOW RISK SITES

Gateway Shopping Centre between 11am and 2pm on Saturday, June 26. Anyone who attended at this time is urged to monitor their health and isolate if they develop symptoms.

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