NT records first COVID-19 case since April

Henrietta Brewer
July 2, 2020

THE Northern Territory has recorded its first coronavirus case in almost three months, after a Territorian returning home via Melbourne tested positive for COVID-19.

The Darwin man, aged in his 30s, is a returned traveller who undertook a two-7 days quarantine time period in Melbourne in advance of being with loved ones in one particular of the city's discovered coronavirus hotspots although awaiting a flight household.

The man had been in quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in Melbourne from Pakistan.

"I want to reassure the community there has been minimal contact with the broader community".

He then flew to Darwin, via Brisbane, on Qantas flight 836 arriving on Monday.

It's unclear whether he contracted the disease before arriving in Australia, or while staying with family in Melbourne. He was tested for coronavirus and the positive result was recorded on Wednesday night.

"Obviously, if someone's travelled prior to that, that's not against the law", Professor Sutton said.

"This individual has followed all the precautions and we wish [him] all the best", she said.

All 31 cases of COVID-19 in the NT are related to global or interstate travel, with no cases of community transmission.

"This is important message that we do have another case that's in the Territory and a reminder to all Territorians that this has not gone away", he said.

The NT's Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said it was not possible to maintain appropriate physical distancing on a plane, but that the risks were still "relatively low" for passengers.

The minister said it was understandable that Territorians would be anxious and alarmed by the new infection.

The Health Minister said the NT must continue to look for a way forward without closing borders or businesses.

"But we have to understand that we're stepping forward into what is our new normal", she said.

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