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NT records two more COVID-19 cases

Another infant has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the Northern Territory as a community outbreak grew by two infections.

The other new case is the mother of a three-year-old girl who tested positive on Sunday.

Both are residents of the town of Katherine, 320 kilometres south of Darwin.

The infected woman in her 20s and her daughter remain in isolation in the Royal Darwin Hospital.

The newly diagnosed infant girl is in The Centre for National Resilience quarantine facility in Howard Springs, south of Darwin and is a household contact of the three-year-old.

About 30 other close contacts from three households are also quarantined at the facility.

The new infections bring the current outbreak to 63 cases, with more infections linked to the three-year-old expected.

Wastewater tests from the Katherine area have weakened overnight.

“It looks like we’ve identified these cases and with those people no longer being in that catchment we’re seeing it reduce,” Health Minister Natasha Fyles told reporters on Wednesday.

A lockout in Katherine and the nearby Binjari and Rockhole Aboriginal communities ended at midday.

Vaccination in Katherine has surpassed 80 per cent double-dosed, according to NT Health.

The NT government has been criticised over the method it uses to calculate the territory’s vaccination rate.

Its figures are routinely about 10 per cent higher than Commonwealth data for the same locations.

This is because the NT records jabs in arms, which includes travellers, as opposed to the Commonwealth, which uses the accepted Medicare address method.

Ms Fyles said she had confidence in the NT’s process but acknowledged the data may not be accurate.

Chief Health Officer Charles Pain said the discrepancy between the two datasets didn’t matter because under the Commonwealth’s method the NT was about to surpass the 80 per cent double-vaccinated rate.

“Our figures are higher than that, we’re certainly very confident (the actual rate) is between those two numbers,” he said.

Across the NT, 95 per cent of people over 16 have had one vaccine dose and 91 per cent are fully vaccinated, according to NT Health.

Under Commonwealth data, 87 per cent of people over 16 have had one vaccine dose and 79 per cent are fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, a woman in her 50s has died in the Howard Springs quarantine facility but Ms Fyles said it was not COVID-19 related.

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