The Australian Defence Force has been deployed in the Northern Territory to help transfer COVID positive residents and close contacts to a quarantine camp.
About 20 ADF personnel and military trucks were sent to the communities in Binjari and Rockhole this week to assist with the transfer of residents to Howard Springs Quarantine Facility, according to NT’s chief minister, Michael Gunner.
The communities were also placed under the harshest lockdown restrictions Australia has ever seen, with residents prohibited from leaving their homes except for medical or emergency reasons.
Families in need of food have been barred from leaving their residence, and instead instructed to contact police or government staff for assistance.
Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said: “If you need food, if you need anything, please make contact with the police officers and other government staff that are on the ground – we will try and facilitate whatever you need.”
The Commissioner said so far six people from Binjari have been fined more than $5,000 each for leaving their residence.
Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Charles Pain said, “They are in a hard lockdown to protect them.”
“Residents of Binjari and Rockhole no longer have the five reasons to leave their home,” NT chief minister Michael Gunner said during a recent press conference. “They can only leave for medical treatment, in an emergency, or if required by law.
Gunner continued: “It’s highly likely that more residents will be transferred to Howard Springs [quarantine centre] today, either as positive cases or close contacts. We’ve already identified 38 close contacts in Binjari, and that number will go up.
“Those 38 are being transferred now. I’ve contacted the Prime Minister last night. We are grateful for the support of about 20 ADF personnel, as well as Army trucks to assist with the transfer of positive cases and close contacts and to support the communities.”