Chief Minister Michael Gunner exploded at a Covid-19 press conference, saying it was “about bloody time” individual remote community vaccination data was handed over to Northern Territorian authorities to help save lives in remote communities.
The Territorian leader lost his cool after being asked about the NT government’s access to the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation’s (ACCHO) data on Tuesday.
Mr Gunner responded saying the government still did not have access to vaccination breakdown for the 29 ACCHO communities, which was vital in the territory’s response to possible future cases.
“There is absolutely a compelling reason why we must have the vaccine data from individual communities (because) our response to a case in that community is determined by the vaccine rate in that community,” he said.
The Doherty model recommended that every individual community have its own Covid plan and the chief minister said specific rapid response vaccination plans were also needed for those remote areas.
He said NT authorities “politely” asked for the data through ACCHO directly, through national cabinet, the Australian Government and the media but was still left empty-handed.
As a result, Mr Gunner said authorities would operate assuming there were zero per cent vaccination rates in those remote communities if a case was recorded and a large number of resources would be used around vaccinating the entire community.
“I believe there is an absolutely compelling argument for how we save lives by knowing that vaccine rate.
“I would like to have a more nuanced response to that remote community.
“I would like to do everything I can to save a blood life. It’s about bloody time they gave us that vaccine data.”
Mr Gunner fronted the media on Tuesday afternoon to announce the lockout in greater Darwin would be lifted at midnight on Tuesday night.
Darwin and Katherine were plunged into short lockouts after a 21-year-old woman arrived in Darwin from Cairns on October 29.
It was revealed the woman was identified as a close contact of a previous case and she flew from Cairns to Adelaide then drove to Melbourne on October 21 where she spent four days before flying to Darwin on October 29.
There was one new cases recorded on Tuesday, a fully vaccinated 48-year-old Katherine man who is a close contact already in quarantine.
It brings the number of infections connected to the cluster to four.