Darwin, June 28 (IANS): Northern Territory of Australia (NT) Chief Minister Michael Gunner said the state “now faces its greatest threat” since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, adding that its capital Darwin would enter into quarantine for 48 hours.
The full lockdown went into effect at 1 p.m. local time on Sunday in rural areas of Darwin, Palmerston and Darwin, after four new positive mine-related cases were confirmed, according to the NT government statement.
According to Australian media, the cases could be linked to the highly infectious Delta strain, reports the Xinhua news agency.
The lockdown period means that people living in these areas are only allowed to leave their homes for five reasons, including medical treatment, essential goods and services, essential work, etc.
Wearing a mask is compulsory if people leave their place of residence.
“The Northern Territory now faces its biggest threat since the start of the Covid crisis. I cannot rule out the lockdown being longer,” Gunner said.
The announcement came after Australia’s most populous state New South Wales (NSW) on Saturday extended the ongoing lockdown to more areas as local transmission in Sydney’s largest city on Saturday kept increasing.
Jamie Chalker, NT Police Commissioner, assured locals that no positive cases have been found in remote communities.
To date, NT has reported 181 cases of coronavirus and no deaths.
The overall number of infections and the number of deaths in the country currently stood at 30,499 and 910, respectively.