Alice Springs goes into lockout as the number of people in NT hospitals with COVID grows

Alice Springs goes into lockout from kl. 15 today, as the NT registers a further 327 cases of COVID-19.

There has also been an increase in the number of people with COVID-19 in the hospital, up to 44 patients from 32 on Saturday.

No patients are in the intensive care unit.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the number of people in the hospital represented about 1.1 percent of the NT’s 4,000 active cases.

Sir. Gunner said 65 percent of NT’s hospitalizations were in Alice Springs.

“This does not mean they are all sick, many are mild cases,” he said.

“Hospital care is probably a higher level of care than what is required.”

Acting Chief Health Officer Charles Pain said the “pressure” on the health system in Alice Springs had reached a point where there needed to be some “adjustments”.

Alice Springs Hospital
Most of NT’s hospitalizations are in Alice Springs.(ABC News: Steven Schubert)

Alice Springs lockout from 6 p.m. 15 today

Sir. Gunner said the lockout in Alice Springs would begin at 6 p.m. 15 today and that unvaccinated people can only leave the house for four reasons.

People who are not double-dosed may only leave home for medical treatment, to buy essential goods and services, for an hour of exercise a day, or to care for a family member or person who cannot take care of themselves.

Anyone who experiences domestic or family violence, regardless of their vaccination status, can go to a safe place or go to the police.

People who are fully vaccinated can continue as normal, but must adhere to an NT-wide mask mandate that is in place.

Sir. Gunner said unvaccinated people were “much more likely” to become seriously ill with COVID-19, which is why there was a lockout that restricted people who were not fully protected.

“What the lockout does in Alice Springs is to reduce the risk of an unvaccinated person being exposed to COVID, and they are much more likely to have a severe reaction to COVID,” he said.

Dr.  Charles Pain wears a shirt with a collar and tie at a press conference in Darwin.
Dr. Charles Pain says the best way people can protect themselves is to get vaccinated.(ABC News: Hamish Harty)

The remote Central Australian communities of Yuendumu and Yuelamu are also in lockout.

Sir. Gunner said there were five new cases in Yuendumu within the last 24 hours and six in Yuelamu.

Lockouts in both communities have been extended to 6 p.m. 5pm Sunday, Jan. 23 and is scheduled to be lifted with restrictions in Alice Springs.

Sir. Gunner said that although there had been no “significant growth” of COVID-19 cases in Alice Springs, there had been a number of outbreaks in “high-risk” settings.

“We have some concerns about Alice Springs,” Mr Gunner said.

“The total number of cases in many ways does not concern us in Alice Springs, nor the capacity of the hospital and Todd [quarantine] the facility does not worry us, it is more where the cases are presented that is the problem. “

Outbreaks have been reported in prisons in Alice Springs and Darwin, as well as nursing home facilities and an Alice Springs nursing home.

Three new cases have been registered with inmates at the Darwin Correctional Center.

A woman wearing a face mask walks past colorful street art.  The woman's dress and mask are both black.
There is an NT-wide indoor mask mandate in place.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

One in 10 NT children has received a dose

According to figures from the NT government, almost one in 10 children in the territory between the ages of five and 11 have been vaccinated in the first week of the pediatric vaccine rollout.

Children in this age cohort receive a smaller dose than adults and older children, receiving the two jabs at eight-week intervals.

There are about 24,750 Territory children aged five to 11 years, and as more than 2,300 children, this group has received their first dose: 9.3 percent of young children are now partially vaccinated.

In the age group of 12 to 15 years, 82 percent of the territories have received one dose and 70 percent are fully vaccinated.

NT Health says it will travel to Pirlangimpi, Milikapiti, Jabiru, Julanimawu, Nauiyu (Daly River), Belyuen, Papunya, Mt Liebig, Milyakburra, Angurugu, Alyangula and Umbakumba this month to vaccinate children aged five to 11 years. .

Dr. Pain urged anyone eligible to roll up their sleeves for the first and second doses, as well as their booster shots.

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