UPDATE: COVID-19 case confirmed in Darwin

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On 4 March a 52-year-old man tested positive for COVID-19 in Darwin, becoming the first confirmed case in the Northern Territory.

“The man, an Australian from New South Wales is visiting Darwin, having arrived on Tuesday 3 March aboard QANTAS flight QF840 from Sydney,” said Deputy Chief Health Officer Dianne Stephens.

“On arrival, he drove to the Woolworths complex in Darwin CBD before checking in to his accommodation at the Ramada on Wyndham. It is understood that he was then advised that a former travelling companion had tested positive interstate, and so he immediately self-isolated and contacted health authorities.

“He was tested at a local GP where all the precautions were taken, and otherwise remained in his hotel room until the test results were confirmed, at which point he drove himself to RDH, where he was met by the PHU and admitted and remains in isolation.”

The Top End Health Service Public Health Unit is undertaking contact tracing of all the passengers on the flight and others who may have come into close contact with the man. People who were on the flight, staying at the accommodation or who visited the Woolworths complex are advised to monitor their health. They are not required to self-isolate or get tested unless they develop any respiratory symptoms.

“If symptoms develop, contact your General Practitioner who will arrange for to you to be tested,” Dr Stephens said.

“The public is reminded to be alert, but not alarmed, there is no need to panic buy supplies or to wear a mask unless you become ill. Practice good hand hygiene, remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow, and avoid touching your face. That remains the best way to minimise the spread of any infection.”

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