Infected troops from ‘a range of units around Australia’
DEFENCE will decide whether COVID-19 infected troops in Darwin will be repatriated to their home states or remain in the NT for care, Health Minister Natasha Fyles said.
Minister Fyles said the four Australian Defence Force personnel, who recently contracted COVID-19 while serving in the Middle East, arrived in Darwin today on a charter flight.
She said she was unable to confirm whether any of them were from the NT.
A Defence spokesman said the infected personnel were from "a range of units around Australia."
Minister Fyles reassured Territorians that the infected personnel had not mixed with the general public in Darwin.
"The flight landed in Darwin around 6am this morning and four personnel who have tested positive to COVID-19 were then escorted by St John Ambulance to Royal Darwin Hospital," Minister Fyles said.
"I want to reassure Territorians that in no way did they mix with the public.
"There was also a number of personnel on that flight who have disembarked and gone into that mandatory quarantine.
"We hope that they do not come down with coronavirus but we wish them well and welcome them to the Top End.
"Those personnel that are now in Royal Darwin Hospital will be cared for clinically and be assessed by our clinic."
Minister Fyles said she was unable to confirm where any of the four infected personnel were from.
"They will be added to their home state or territories jurisdiction, in terms of those numbers, but this isn't about statistics this is about providing care for these individuals," she said.
"We will care for them and I understand they will be retested here. Defence will then decide what is the best plan for them.
"In the coming days it will be determined where is their home and if Defence wants to repatriate them there or are they better off being cared for here."
She said the NT still has three outstanding coronavirus cases who are yet to recover.
A Defence spokesman said they had been proactively testing personnel for COVID-19 in the Middle East after being notified that a number of locally engaged contractors had tested positive in recent weeks.
The tests were undertaken by the host nation last week and results were advised to Defence late on Wednesday, April 29.
"The returned personnel were deployed to Operation Accordion and are from a range of units around Australia," he said.
Originally published as Infected troops from 'a range of units around Australia'