Woman in 40s dies with COVID as NT registers 412 new cases

Northern Territory has registered its second COVID-related death after an aboriginal woman in her 40s died at Royal Darwin Hospital.

NT Deputy Secretary Nicole Manison said the woman was from Darwin’s Bagot community.

“The woman has been very uncomfortable, she has been in the intensive care unit,” Manison said.

“She had underlying health conditions; she was fully vaccinated.

“I would like to send my deepest condolences to her family, to the Bagot community, because we know they will be hurt right now, and I would also like to send my thanks and sympathy to the staff of the intensive care unit, because we know that they worked incredibly hard here. “

It is the second COVID-related death in the NT to date.

It is not known what variant of the virus the woman had.

People are crossing a busy street in Darwin's CBD, everyone is wearing a mask.
There is an indoor mask mandate in the NT, and people are encouraged to mask themselves outdoors.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

NT Vice Chief Health Officer Charles Pain said the woman who died had not received her booster shot, urging people eligible to roll up their sleeves.

“Vaccination is still our best defense,” he said.

“Unfortunately, we will occasionally see people who have been vaccinated who will succumb to this disease, but booster doses are the best extra defense against this disease, especially the Omicron variant.”

412 new cases across the NT

412 new cases were registered within 24 hours until 20 last night, about a third of those reported through rapid antigen tests.

There are currently 32 patients with COVID in territorial hospitals, none in the intensive care unit.

Across the territory, Ms Manison said there were now 3,730 active cases of COVID-19.

Just over half of these active cases were in people aged 20 to 39, she added, with 75 per cent of cases in the Greater Darwin area.

Manison said about 15 percent of the active cases in the NT were in Alice Springs and its environs, about five percent in Katherine and four percent in East Arnhem.

Two more cases have been registered in the remote community of Yuendemu, where 45 cases are now linked to the community.

There is currently a lockout in place in Yuendemu and Yuelamu, which is to be lifted at. 17.00 Thursday.

NT Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain speaks at a press conference in Parliament House.
Dr. Pain encourages people to get vaccinated as soon as they can.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Outbreak linked to prison, kidney center

Outbreaks have now also been recorded in the Alice Springs Correctional Center and an Alice Springs kidney hostel, where people from out of town are staying to receive dialysis treatment.

Manison said 20 cases were linked to the Alice Springs Correctional Center, including six employees and 14 inmates.

“They’re all testing. There’s a huge amount of work going on there,” she said.

“We know we have high vaccination rates in these crime centers.”

Eight additional cases have been linked to the Alice Springs Forensic Facility, including seven inpatients and one staff member.

Four cases, including three patients, have been confirmed at Alyerre Renal Hostel.

“Then again, there was work going on with the hostel to make sure these people get the very best care, given they have the underlying health conditions,” Ms Manison said.

Someone is holding a phone with a text message from COVID Care urging them to keep an eye on symptoms and get a RAT if required.
The NT government said Friday that there had been a pile of COVID-19 contact messages.(ABC News: Dane Hirst)

‘Thousands’ of messages sent out by mistake

Manison said “thousands” of text messages were sent out to territories during the night, leaving them to leave if they had been in the same place as a confirmed COVID case.

It comes after the NT government admitted a significant reporting bug on Friday, with no users of their COVID-19 check-in app receiving notifications in the past week.

“My message to people is to make sure not to be disturbed, but to make sure you monitor your symptoms. If you are symptomatic, go out and get a COVID test done,” Ms Manison said.

“If you’ve been exposed somewhere, if you go symptomatic. Be sure to get that test done.”

A red emergency sign outside in front of Royal Darwin Hospital
There are currently 32 patients with COVID in territorial hospitals, none in the intensive care unit.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

Dr. Pain said it was not clear when the “peak” of the NT’s COVID eruption would be.

“We probably have at least two or three weeks or four weeks left before we know what the top will be,” he said.

Dr. Pain said the NT had seen a “relatively moderate” number of admissions.

“Omicron arrived at the time we failed our defense,” said Dr. Pain with reference to the boundaries of the NT, which opened on December 20th.

“We’ve had more cases this year in the last two weeks in Australia than we had in the whole pandemic before that, so it’s a huge wave.”

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