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

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

NT Vice Chief Minister Nicole Manison said the woman was from Darwin’s Bagot community.

“The woman was very unwell, she was in the ICU,” said Ms. Manison.

“She did have underlying health issues; she was fully vaccinated.

“I want to express my deepest condolences to her family, to the Bagot community, because we know they are going to hurt right now and I also want to express my gratitude and condolences to the staff at the ICU, because we know they have worked incredibly hard here.”

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

It is not known which 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 outdoors.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

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

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

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

412 new cases across the NT

There were 412 new cases registered in the 24 hours to 8 p.m. last night, about a third of the cases reported through rapid antigen testing.

There are currently 32 patients with COVID in regional hospitals, none in the ICU.

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

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

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

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

A lockout is currently in place in Yuendemu and Yuelamu, which will be lifted at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Outbreaks related to prison, kidney center

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

Ms Manison said 20 cases were related to the Alice Springs Correctional Center, including six staff members and 14 inmates.

“They test everyone. There’s a lot of work going on there,” she said.

“We know we have high vaccination rates in those penitentiaries.”

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

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

“So again, there was work going on with the hostel to make sure those people are getting the very best care as they have those underlying health conditions,” Ms Manison said.

A person holds a phone with a text message from COVID Care urging them to watch for symptoms and get a RAT if necessary.
The NT government said Friday that COVID-19 contact messages had been tampered with.(ABC News: Dane Hirst)

‘Thousands’ of messages sent after error

Ms. Manison said “thousands” of text messages were sent to Territories overnight so that if they had been in the same location as a confirmed COVID case, they would be admitted.

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

“My message to people is to make sure you don’t get alarmed, but make sure you monitor your symptoms. If you’re symptomatic, go outside and get a COVID test,” Ms Manison said.

“If you’ve been exposed to the site if you get symptomatic. Make sure to get that test done.”

More to come.

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