Northern Territory (NT) police are still looking for a man who escaped from the Alice Springs Quarantine Center on December 1.
At a press conference on Tuesday, New Zealand Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said that the fugitive, 27-year-old Jeremy MacDonald, “is known to the police and there are some other activities underway that we believe are causing him to remain out of our spotlight. … “
“Rest assured, he’s our focus,” he said.
Chalker added that MacDonald is actively avoiding the police and that they will pressure to secure his whereabouts as soon as possible.
This comes after MacDonald was quarantined on Nov.26 after failing to report that he had recently visited a COVID-19 hotspot.
According to the employees of the institution, at 13:00 on December 1, he was not in his room, apparently, he left through the balcony.
Police Commander Sachin Sharma urged the community to report any incidents of MacDonald’s appearance and advised him to surrender to the police.
“The CHO’s directives are for public safety, and violating those directives is a serious violation,” he said in a December 3 police report to the media.
Police have assured the community that McDonald’s COVID-19 test came back negative on December 1.
This case is linked to two other recent escapes from the Howard Springs quarantine facility on the outskirts of Darwin.
On 3 December at about 22:00, a 36-year-old man climbed over the fence and disappeared, but was detained early in the morning of 4 December.
Three days earlier, three indigenous teenagers from the Binjari community also climbed over the fence and left Howard Springs at 4:40 am.
They were located on the outskirts of Palmerston, Darwin’s satellite town, 10 kilometers from Howard Springs. They tried to escape when they spotted the police, but were eventually detained and returned to the quarantine center.
Chalker said loneliness and isolation likely influenced the trinity’s decision to leave the institution, given that they are used to living in crowded conditions rather than alone.
Currently, many households in remote indigenous communities in the Northern Territory can accommodate up to 20 or 30 residents, making it nearly impossible to isolate residents from their families if exposed to COVID-19.
This prompted the village authorities to look for alternative housing for those who were isolated.
In a statement released on November 27, indigenous community leaders from villages said members of the Binjari and Rockhol communities were “very upset by the false comments made in the media and social media about their situation,” according to the Katherine Times.
They denied social media allegations that members of the Binjari community were forcibly moved to quarantine facilities or otherwise ill-treated by government health authorities.
“We have been treated with great respect and appreciate all the support these support staff have given,” the statement said. “We are locked up because we are in the biggest battle of our life. We are trying to protect ourselves. We are trying to do the right thing on the part of society and Catherine. “
In addition, many residents of the villages have comorbidities, which, as noted, contribute to the deterioration of results in the event of the development of symptomatic COVID-19.
Meanwhile. As of Wednesday night, two new cases of COVID-19 were reported across the territory, bringing the current cluster to 63.
In a press conference Wednesday, New York State Health Secretary Natasha Files said both cases were quarantined at the Howard Springs facility when they tested positive. Both are linked to Katherine’s 3-year-old who tested positive last week.
One of the new cases is a mother of a 3-year-old who was quarantined with her baby at Royal Darwin Hospital and therefore poses a small risk to society.
Another case is an infant who is in home contact with a three-year-old child.
Files also told the community that people will return to Katherine from Howard Springs and continue to spread the virus. This means that COVID-19 found in wastewater may not necessarily be related to new cases, but rather to previous patients who have shed the virus.
Sadly, a woman in her fifties died at a Howard Springs facility Tuesday night, but Files said the death was not related to COVID-19.