A worker at Northern Territory mine tested positive for coronavirus. This prompts mass isolations

Health authorities in three states have ordered more than 1,600 individuals to be isolated after a Northern Territory mine worker was diagnosed.

A worker at Northern Territory mine tested positive for coronavirus. This prompts mass isolations

After a coronavirus test at a Northern Territory mine, more than 1600 people were ordered to be isolated in three states.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Michael Gunner told reporters that the mine worker had tested positive after arriving in the Territory on Friday, June 18.

The man was not symptomatic and was only alerted by interstate authorities to possible hotel quarantine breaches in Queensland.

He had traveled from Bendigo via Brisbane. On June 17, he was placed in a quarantine hospital.

Although he was only in quarantine for one day, it is believed that he contracted the virus there.

According to legend, the man was unknowingly infected from June 18 and then traveled to the Granites Mine in central Australia, located 540km northwest Alice Springs.

The mine was shut down due to his diagnosis and 754 workers were forced to remain on-site.
Jamie Chalker, NT Police Commissioner, stated that "we're lucky with the design of this mine site and the location thereof that we can convert it into a quarantine center in its own right."

Further 900 people have been ordered to remain at home after they have flown to Darwin and Alice Springs, Perth, Brisbane and Perth.

Seventy-eight close contacts have been identified and will be quarantined at the Howard Springs facility, outside Darwin.

Gunner stated that "We are confident and we know all of the people who have moved into and out of the minesite."

"We have always prepared for the possibility of community transmission, even though we have never seen one in Territory."

"We will do all we can to track, trace, and test this virus. We will always do what it takes to keep your safety."

Although Mr Gunner did not reveal the strain of the infection, he said that it was the "worst case scenario" Delta strain.

He said that of the 900 people who went into isolation, 244 were in the Territory. 33 are in Alice Springs and 21 in Darwin.

Authorities are not certain how the man contracted the virus.

Hugh Heggie, Chief Health Officer, stated that the incident is cause for concern in both the territory and other states.

He stated, "I want it to be very clear that there is a risk."

There are also fears that the man's illness could spread to remote areas of the territory.

Mister Gunner made the move to assure communities that the risk was low despite the site being close to two communities.

"This mine site is very isolated and quite far from the remote communities. "I'm confident now."

Mr Chalker stated that anyone who visited the mine site was specifically warned to avoid remote communities.

He said, "There's no need to panic."

"My understanding is that if there are any, it would be very small - probably in single figures."

Professor Michael Kidd (Australia's Deputy Chief Med Officer) said that federal authorities are also concerned about the possibility of the virus spreading to Indigenous communities.

He said, "Right from beginning of the pandemic, we've had plans to work with local Aboriginal community to respond to outbreaks that occur in remote parts of Australia."

"The Commonwealth works with the Northern Territory government, and the Aboriginal community-controlled health services in the affected region to provide any support that is required."

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