The Northern Territory has recorded four new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours since 11am Wednesday, all linked to repatriated Australians who are under mandatory quarantine in Howard Springs.
The four new cases are all passengers who arrived on a special repatriation flight from India that landed in Darwin on Tuesday.
Two children aged three, and a 31-year-old man and an 82-year-old woman tested positive at the Howard Springs facility.
The NT Government said the patients were well and would remain at the quarantine facility.
It said the group of repatriated Australians arriving in Darwin from overseas was a “known higher risk group”.
“As a result, it is expected that between 5 and 10 per cent of all passengers could test positive for COVID-19,” the Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet said in a statement.
“The repatriation of Australians to the Northern Territory to undertake quarantine at the Howard Springs Facility provides a safe and managed way to bring them home while protecting the health of all Australians.
“All international arrivals are in quarantine where strict infection control measures are being applied and any active cases of COVID-19 can be managed.”
The total number of active cases in the Northern Territory is now five.
The fifth case also relates to a repatriated Australian from the same New Delhi flight, QF112, with a 31-year-old woman testing positive on Wednesday while in quarantine.
QF112 is the second of eight special Qantas flights chartered to repatriate Australians from South Africa, Europe and India, which altogether are set to bring 1300 Australians home.
The New Delhi flight landed on Tuesday, carrying 183 Australians who had been stranded in India – all of whom are in quarantine in the Northern Territory.
To date, 39 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in the Northern Territory, all related to international or interstate travel, with no cases of community transmission.
It comes as NT Police issue two infringement notices to people in quarantine at the Howard Springs facility for failing to abide by the rules.
Police said they issued one to a 57-year-old man who was not in his unit on Wednesday when meals were being served.
The man was located near his room but was not wearing a mask, and police allege the 57-year-old became aggressive towards staff when questioned.
Police also fined a 33-year-old woman on Wednesday after they found her allegedly attempting to scale a perimeter fence.
Incident Controller Shaun Gill said he was “frustrated by people who think they are above the rules”.
“The Northern Territory has worked really hard to minimise the spread of COVID-19 here, this sort of behaviour puts everyone at risk,” he said.
In the NT to date, 33,080 compliance checks have been completed and 154 fines issued.
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