Three new cases of COVID-19 have been recorded on Nov. 23 in the Greater Katherine Region has led the Northern Territory’s government to extend the state’s COVID restrictions for the region.
The cluster now has 40 cases, and up to 423 close contacts, with around 200 close contacts in the Howard Springs quarantine camp, according to the ABC.
One of the new cases is an infant, and the child of a previously infected resident of Robinson River, Nine News reported.
It was expected that some restrictions would remain in place until Dec. 1, according to the ABC, but Nine News reports that this deadline has now been extended to Dec. 4.
The hard lockdown will remain in place for the Binjari and Rockhole communities, preventing residents from leaving their property for any reason, except when seeking medical treatment or in an emergency. The police will continue to ensure that these residents receive care packages while in lockdown, the ABC reported.
Previous lockdowns in Binjari and Rockhole gave residents five reasons to leave the home, but new restrictions only allow three: medical treatment; if required by law; and caregiving. As the lockdown eases, a lockout is to be put in place, with a mask mandate and vaccine mandate.
The Northern Territory Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker confirmed that additional police and military personnel had entered the region, stressing that the military was deployed only to provide assistance in getting residents tested and “to really focus on compliance and education.”
Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner has also confirmed that Australian Defence Force personnel are being used to transfer residents to quarantine facilities.
The cost for staying in quarantine facilities for 14 days costs $2500 per person or $5000 for family groups.
Chalker has said that eight residents of Binjari left the community, in breach of the hard lockdown, and Nine News confirmed that each of the six adults in the group has been fined $5,024.
So far, no cases have been admitted to intensive care, Nine News reports, although Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain expects numbers to increase.
Stuart Jeffery, aka LibertyDownUnder, is the founder of the Australian Liberty Network. He is also the host of the Gumtree of Liberty and Gumtree of Liberty Live podcasts, and is editor of the Liberty Review. Stuart is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts, majoring in international relations, at the University of Southern Queensland.