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The NT Government confirms that body bags were sent to remote Indigenous communities in the Top End to prepare for the potential "catastrophic impact" of Coronavirus.
By
NITV Staff Writer

Source:
NITV News
8 May 2020 - 10:06 AM  UPDATED 9 May 2020 - 9:05 AM

The Northern Territory Health Minister Natasha Fyles this week confirmed that body bags had been sent to remote communities in the Top End to prepare for potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Tuesday, Ms Fyles said the NT Government had sent supplies to remote communities to prepare for any outbreaks of the Coronavirus. The supplies included body bags.

"Some of the scenarios were pretty horrible … do we leave people in community to pass away?” she told the NT News.

“That was one of those moments that really drove it home for me, was people asking ‘why are you sending body bags?’”

Based on clinical projections prepared for the NT government, if 60 per cent of the NT's population fell ill over four months, 2000 people in the NT would have died, said Ms Fyles.

In that scenario, the NT would have required an extra 900 hospital beds and 320 ICU beds.

Royal Darwin Hospital has less than 20 intensive care beds, with the ability to expand to 50.

First Nations peoples make up one in four Territorians, based on the 2016 Census.

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner was quick to shut down borders into NT in March under the Biosecurity Act.

This week, he told reporters that lifting border restrictions would be 'dead-last' on his to-do list.

But restrictions are lifting slowly within the Northern Territory, with Territorians now allowed to exercise outdoors with other people, visit parks and reserves, play non-contact outdoor sports, and go boating and fishing.

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