Man confirmed as first NT coronavirus case went to Woolworths

“It was a very short trip and he was not in prolonged contact with any individual,” Deputy Northern Territory chief health officer Professor Dianne Stephens told reporters this morning.

NT Health confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the community on Wednesday night.

The 52-year-old man arrived in Darwin via Sydney on Tuesday afternoon on Qantas flight QF840 but has had limited contact with the community, the territory’s health department said.

Prof Stephens said after his brief shopping trip at Woolworths on Cavenagh St in the CBD, the man went back to the Ramada Suites by Wyndham Zen Quarter in the city and was feeling unwell.

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Deputy NT Chief Health Officer Professor Dianne Stephens. Picture: Nine NewsSource:Channel 9

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Top End Health Service Public Health Unit is conducting contract tracing.

In a statement to today, a Woolworths spokeswoman said they are providing support and guidance to the relevant staff.

“The safety of our customers and team members is our number one priority,” she said.

“Following the advice from public health authorities, we are contacting team members who worked in our Darwin City store on Tuesday afternoon.

“Any customers in our Darwin City store at this time should follow the NT Government’s health advice. We have a detailed cleaning program in our stores every day and will take all actions required.

“As per the NT Government health advice, customers and team members should be assured they can continue to shop and work at this supermarket with confidence.”

The man visited Woolworths Darwin City on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford.

The man visited Woolworths Darwin City on Tuesday afternoon. Picture: Katrina Bridgeford.Source:News Corp Australia

Nine News reported the man also hired a car and health officials are contacting the company.

“There is a process that the public health unit will go through to manage those close contacts and it does involve questioning them, making sure that they’re aware that if they become unwell they need to be tested and to ensure that they are aware of all the self-quarantine regulations that need to be followed,” Prof Stephens said.

“We will reach out to the people (on the flight) that were two rows either side of the person that has become positive and two rows to the side.

“The rest of the people on that plane need to self monitor just in case they came in contact with that passenger but it really is the people that were very close to him that fit the criteria for close contact.”

The man is isolated in a negative pressure room at Royal Darwin Hospital, Prof Stephens said.

Cabin crew who had direct contact with the passenger on the A330 have been placed into self-isolation, The Australian reported.

More than 100 coronavirus tests have been conducted in the NT with the one positive result.

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Workers at the quarantine facility in Howard Springs, NT. Picture: Che Chorley

Workers at the quarantine facility in Howard Springs, NT. Picture: Che ChorleySource:News Corp Australia

Australians evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan will be allowed to go home today after spending a fortnight in quarantine at the Manigurr-ma village in Howard Springs outside Darwin.

The group of nearly 160 people will be flown on charter planes.

Perth man James Kwan, 78, was evacuated to Western Australia after testing positive for the disease shortly after arriving at the quarantine facility.

“He became unwell on the flight from Japan and remained isolated throughout his short stay at the facility,” NT Health said.

Mr Kwan died last weekend.

Overnight, Australia confirmed its second coronavirus death – a 95-year-old female resident at an aged care facility in NSW.

Woolworths and Ramada have been contacted by for comment.


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