NT Government postpones events as coronavirus expected to hit economy, health system


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March 16, 2020 19:17:25

Chief Minister Michael Gunner and Deputy Chief Well being Officer Dianne Stephens say — at this stage — Territorians will nonetheless be capable to purchase a laksa on the Mindil Markets this dry season, however should not stick round to observe the sundown.

Key factors:

  • The NT nonetheless solely has one confirmed case of COVID-19
  • NT Well being has performed greater than 500 checks so far
  • For the most recent recommendation on coronavirus from NT authorities click on here

Mr Gunner stated for the subsequent six months or so, measures to minimise the unfold of coronavirus in Australia would see large-scale occasions within the NT cancelled, however that doesn’t imply Territorians should miss out on the markets.

“It is whether or not you’re static or not, just like why a practice station is OK — it is the motion of individuals via it,” Mr Gunner defined.

He stated folks would nonetheless be allowed to stroll via markets in Darwin — together with Parap Markets and Mindil Markets when it opened — however should not queue for lengthy durations of time or sit down at Mindil Seaside in shut proximity to different folks.

“Be wise, do not congregate for a protracted time frame,” Dr Stephens stated.

“If you’re static with somebody for longer than 15 minutes, you’re in shut contact.

“If you happen to’re not effectively, do not go. Do not shake fingers, do not hug folks, however simply go about your common enterprise.”

The NT nonetheless solely has one confirmed case of COVID19. A 52-year-old who examined constructive to COVID-19 on March four stays at Royal Darwin Hospital.

Dr Stephens stated NT Well being had performed greater than 500 checks so far, and was solely testing individuals who met the factors for testing.

The turnaround time for every take a look at is about 4 hours, Dr Stephens added, however getting checks outcomes again from distant communities takes longer because the take a look at needs to be transported from the group itself.

“Sure [the NT Health system] will probably be stretched, however we are going to get via this, it would return to regular in six or so months,” she stated.

“We could have coronavirus in our group, and we are going to recuperate from it.”

Main occasions postponed

The NT Authorities this afternoon introduced main occasions throughout the Norther Territory can be postponed.

The Authorities stated it had taken the measures within the Federal Authorities’s COVID-19 recommendation towards holding occasions of 500 folks or extra.

Bass within the Grass, the NT’s main in style music pageant, was initially scheduled for Might 23 and has been pushed again to October.

Parrtjima — A Pageant in Mild in Alice Springs, which was set for April, has been rescheduled to September.

The NT Authorities stated particular dates for the festivals can be confirmed within the coming days.

Refund particulars for anybody who can’t attend the rescheduled occasions will probably be introduced as soon as the brand new dates have been chosen.

The NT Authorities additionally stated that choices across the rescheduling of different upcoming occasions, such because the Supercars and AFL and NRL matches within the Northern Territory, can be “made together with the governing our bodies of the companions concerned”.

For additional info, occasion organisers can name the Mass Gatherings Hotline on 1800 518 055 throughout enterprise hours for help.

The distant image

Dr Stephens stated, so far, there had been no group transmissions within the Northern Territory.

“In the mean time we’re placing in an entire lot of measures to cut back the danger of getting this into distant communities,” she stated.

Mr Gunner stated within the public service, the NT Authorities had halted all interstate journey barring “distinctive circumstances” and decreased work journey inside the territory to important journey solely.

“Right now we’re saying that each one non-essential journey to distant communities must cease, journey to distant communities should be for an important service or for the availability and upkeep of important items and companies,” he stated.

“This determination will probably be enforced in partnership with the land councils beneath the Aboriginal Land Act [Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act].

“I need to ship a transparent message to our fellow Territorians residing in distant communities: we’re not leaving you alone.”

Mr Gunner stated Territorians have been most secure of their house communities, and stated he had directed senior officers to contemplate additional protocols for distant group entry.

“If you happen to needn’t journey out of your group then do not,” he stated.

What ought to Territorians do?

Throughout Australia, static, non-essential, organised public gatherings of greater than 500 folks have been banned.

Regardless of this, Dr Stephens stated faculties have been nonetheless secure and urged NT dad and mom to maintain their kids in courses.

“The truth is our faculties are the perfect place for our kids to be,” she stated.

“We’re hoping to get to the college vacation interval break with out having any impression on college attendance.

“We is not going to be closing faculties within the Northern Territory except that scenario modifications.”

Yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated anybody returning to Australia from abroad can be required to self-isolate for 2 weeks, and cruise ships from international ports can be banned from docking in Australia.

Mr Gunner stated within the NT, this is able to be enforced beneath the notifiable ailments act, and individuals who didn’t comply might resist six months in jail.

“Now we have obtained powers of enforcement, we’re not anticipating to make use of it,” he stated.

The NT now has a devoted COVID-19 hotline quantity (1800 008 002), and folks in Darwin can name the Public Well being Unit on 8922 8044 to rearrange testing.

An financial impression

Right now, Mr Gunner is internet hosting a summit for Territory enterprise leaders which goals to assist cut back the impression on companies and staff from the coronavirus.

“We all know it is a well being disaster however that is not the place it ends. The actual fact is our financial system goes to take a success from this. We won’t cease the hit, however we are able to ensure that we’re nonetheless standing on the finish,” Mr Gunner stated.

“This virus will whack each the income and the expenditure facet of the price range.

“Later in the present day we’ll launch an replace on the standing of occasions run by authorities which can be on the horizon, whether or not they’re going forward, cancelled, postponed or amended.”

Foodbank NT CEO Peter Pilt stated they supported 94 charities, and wanted extra help as demand elevated.

“Demand has elevated because the Darwin financial system for the time being is on a decline,” he stated.

“We’re seeing the demand for our companies and our meals improve with the coronavirus.”

He urged Territorians to be sort to one another.

“Individuals are being very insular and really self-focused. We must be enthusiastic about probably the most susceptible amongst us,” he stated.

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First posted

March 16, 2020 14:16:55



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