Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) has announced a 48-hour lockdown for Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield after four new positive cases of Covid-19 were detected.
The cases are all linked to a granite mine where a worker was diagnosed with having the virus after staying in hotel quarantine in Brisbane.
NT’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner says the data is pointing towards the virus being the highly infectious Delta strain currently being managed in NSW.
From 1pm today (local time) Darwin, Palmerston and Litchfield will be placed under a 48-hour lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
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* Covid-19: New restrictions introduced for Queensland as two community cases uncovered
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Under the lockdown, residents will only be allowed to leave their home to receive medical care, receive a Covid-19 vaccination, buy essential goods and services, exercise or provide care to a family member.
Everyone in the lockdown area must wear a mask if they leave their home during the lockdown period.
Gunner said it is a “challenging time” for the territory.
“It is our biggest test, it is scary and uncertain, I know that,” he said.
“This is not something we ever wanted to happen here. We did not want to happen but we have always planned and prepared for the chance that it could happen.
“We have tested this scenario over and over again and we will do the hard things now to stay safe.
“We know how infectious this can be. One case turns to two, two into four, we know what happens.
“I would rather regret us going too hard too early than go too easy and risk it all.
“We know how to beat this. We know how to do the hard things right now, looking down, staying home, to stop this in its track. We will get through this.”
Gunner urged residents of Darwin and surrounds to take the 48-hour lockdown in their stride, and urged people to be compassionate towards essential workers.
“This is not something we ever wanted to happen here. We did not want to happen but we have always planned and prepared for the chance that it could happen,” Gunner said.
“If you are purchasing essential goods, be patient. Treat our essential staff and health workers with respect like you would a police officer. There is no need to panic about goods.”
More to come.
This story was originally published on Nine News and is republished with permission