Northern Territory confirms second coronavirus case after Jetstar flight

Northern Territory confirms second coronavirus case after Jetstar flight

A second person has tested positive following a Melbourne to Darwin flight.

But Health Minister Natasha Fyles has reassured Territorians that the couple had travelled for essential medical reasons, and were appropriately quarantined on return.

On Friday, a man who did not have any symptoms of the virus found out he had tested positive for COVID-19 while on Jetstar flight JQ678.

On Saturday his partner also tested positive.

They had been in Melbourne accompanying a person who was receiving essential medical care, and had pre-arranged to quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the Northern Territory.

Upon receiving his positive test, the man, who was asymptomatic during the flight and had worn personal protective equipment, was taken straight to isolation at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

The woman is believed to have been in isolation at the same hospital when she tested positive.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said the travel history of the couple was a “complex case”.

“This person and their family had been approved to return to the Northern Territory after receiving that essential medical care and were to come in and undertake quarantine [at Howard Springs],” Ms Fyles said.

“At no point were these people just returning and simply going back into our community.

“So it’s a complex case. Not someone that has chosen to go away for holidays, but someone that had to travel interstate and unfortunately now has been diagnosed with coronavirus.”

Since March, there have only been 34 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the Territory, all related to international or interstate travel. No community transmission has yet been recorded.

The second confirmed case comes as the Northern Territory closes its borders to residents from the Greater Brisbane area, Ipswich and Logan, the areas joining other declared coronavirus hotspots of Victoria, Greater Sydney, Port Stephens, and Eurobodalla Shire.

Anyone travelling to the NT from these areas must undergo mandatory quarantine.

The NT Health Department said it had completed contact tracing on the flight.