A three week old baby is one of eight new Covid-19 cases found in the Northern Territory as the Prime Minister warns the virus could “cost lives” by the end of the year.
The total cluster in the area is now 19, with all new infections registered among Australian Aborigines and household contacts of known cases.
Chief Minister Michael Gunner said five of the new cases were discovered in the remote Robinson River community, including a 12-year-old girl.
Both Robinson River and Katherine have been banned and will be staying at home until next Monday.
A three week old baby is one of eight new Covid-19 cases found in the Northern Territory
“Robinson River and Katherine’s situation is serious,” Gunner said on Wednesday.
“We know how quickly Delta can spread within households, and we can’t yet be certain that it hasn’t spread further into the Robinson River and Katherine parishes or further into the Territory.”
He urged residents of the state to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“If you waited because you didn’t think Covid would get here, it is here,” he said.
“If you waited because you didn’t think Covid was serious, you are wrong. It killed 5.1 million people in the world.
“I’m afraid it will claim lives in this area before the end of the year.”
The Northern Territory has not suffered any deaths as a result of the pandemic.
NT chief minister Michael Gunner said he feared the virus would “cost lives” on the territory by the end of the year
Anyone who has been in Robinson River since November 11th must be tested and isolated until a negative result is obtained.
The same direction applies to anyone who was in Katherine from November 7th.
Mask requirements are also required for all residents of the Northern Territory.
Katherine and Robinson River were both put on hold on Monday after two residents tested positive for the virus.
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy announced Tuesday that her unvaccinated 30-year-old sister was one of the new cases cities sent to stay at home on orders.
“I want to send a personal message to my sister who is the source of Covid infection in Robinson River. Our thoughts and prayers are with her and our families,” she told reporters.
Senator Malarndirri McCarthy’s unvaccinated 30-year-old sister (pictured) and a 43-year-old Aboriginal man tested positive for the virus on Monday, sending Greater Katherine and Robinson River into a three-day lockdown
She also addressed some of the criticism she had seen from online trolls and encouraged residents to get vaccinated.
“The messages from people all over Australia, negative social media messages that have kept First Nations people in particular from being vaccinated, are utterly shameful,” she said.
‘It does not help. It has never helped and I would certainly encourage people not to listen to this news the way I have since this pandemic started. ‘
Health teams have been dispatched to Robinson River and surrounding communities for a test and vaccine flash.
Katherine Hospital and MacFarlane Primary School were both listed as exposure sites.