Healthcare workers in Territory remote communities have been delivered a pandemic management public health plan to combat potential cases of coronavirus.
Healthcare workers in Territory remote communities have been delivered a pandemic management public health plan to combat potential cases of coronavirus.

Remote communities issued with plan for tackling coronavirus

REMOTE healthcare workers in the Territory have been delivered a pandemic management public health plan to combat potential cases of coronavirus.

Deputy NT Chief Health Officer Di Stephens assured the public on Tuesday that health officials in Aboriginal communities and regional areas had the resources they needed if they were hit with cases of COVID-19.

"It (the public health plan) has been sent to all of our remote and rural health colleagues," she said.

"All of our frontline clinicians now have that remote public health plan upon which to build their local plans.

"We're also developing clinical algorithms to give to remote health centres so that they can have bases - they don't have to reinvent the wheel, we're supplying them with all of the materials they need.

"We're making sure these protocols and guidelines are up to date, they're living documents because as the situation evolves, some of that clinical detail changes."

There will be a meeting on Wednesday with stakeholders from remote and regional health centres to discuss the challenges involved in the logistics around potentially having to isolate, quarantine and test people in rural areas, and then potentially needing to transport them to Darwin.

Health Minister Natasha Fyles said she had been in conversation with the Northern Land Council and regional shire mayors to discuss pandemic management plans for Aboriginal communities.

"The regional areas and our vulnerable populations of Aboriginal Territorians is a focus," she said.

But there are concerns around public access to information with some communities in a stir about coronavirus.

The Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) have introduced new rules around land access, banning outsiders from entering communities amid virus concerns.

Ms Fyles said the NT Government was aware of the concerns but cited issues in delivering vital information to such a broad audience, especially when it is not apparent when or where the virus could appear.

"We certainly hear those concerns from Territorians living in remote communities, we are looking at multiple ways to get that information out to them," she said.

"We very much understand that the context is going to be varied from community to community.

"We're making sure that information is provided to the community so that they can be informed - not alarmed."


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