After returning to Australia with his family from virus-ravaged India, a two-year-old boy tested positive for coronavirus.
On Sunday, the Northern Territory government reported the positive event, just days after the Federal Government declared India a “high risk” zone and slashed flights from the country by 30%.
Since returning to Australia last week, the boy has been recovering at the territory’s quarantine facility in Howard Springs, 25 kilometers from Darwin.
The Northern Territory government announced that a two-year-old male who arrived on the repatriation flight from New Delhi on April 17 tested positive for COVID-19.
‘The child is asymptomatic and in the care of the AUSMAT team at the Northern Territory Centre for National Resilience,’ says the statement.
With a major increase in cases of 314,000 in a single day and hospitals at breaking point, India is experiencing its darkest days since the pandemic started, with hospitals at breaking point, fast running out of oxygen.
Since repatriation flights to the Northern Territory started last October, nearly 6,700 international arrivals have been quarantined at Howard Springs.
The latest case comes after the territory quarantined ten new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, two of whom were US Marines.
Two women, 31 and 32 years old, and four men, including an infant, two boys, three and six years old, and a 73-year-old, arrived on a repatriation flight from the eastern Indian city of Chennai on April 15.
On Saturday, two more women, ages 34 and 36, who arrived from New Delhi on April 17 tested positive.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Northern Territory has not seen a locally acquired outbreak, with all 161 cases being quarantined.
There are currently 49 active cases on its docket.
Despite a recent increase in cases from repatriated flights from India, the specialist health team leader at the Howard Springs quarantine facility maintains the problem is under control with stops and tests in place.
Professor Len Notaras, executive director of the National Critical Care and Trauma Response Centre, told the ABC, “If we get to a certain point, say in excess of 10 or 12 per cent, we will slow down the flights and indeed be very careful in terms of how many people we actually take on.”
‘We will continue to deal with those individuals at a very high level,’ he said.
After the country reported 346,786 new cases on Saturday, setting a world record for the third day in a row, there are increasing calls for the federal government to further reduce flights from India.
A man who returned to Western Australia from India was confirmed as the source of an outbreak that resulted in a three-day lockdown in Perth and the surrounding Peel area.
India is on the verge of collapse as it fights a crippling second wave of the virus, with overcrowded hospitals and dwindling oxygen supplies.
Only ‘extremely urgent circumstances’ would allow Australians to travel to a high-risk region, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
‘An arrangement where, if you’ve been in a high-risk country in the previous 14 days, you’d have to have a PCR test 72 hours before leaving the last point of embarkation,’ he told reporters last week.
‘This is something that will relate to India.’
- Covid 19 Medical Team: AAP IMAGE