Many years ago on Groote Eylandt, one of the darts competition teams was named “Hopeless and Helpless”. That name aptly fits the NT Government in terms of its present management of the Covid 19 outbreak.

Apart from the Granites mine issue derived from Queensland and the outbreak introduced into the NT by a Cairns visitor and which spread to the Katherine area, things were going well. By dint of outstanding follows up procedures, these situations were largely controlled.

That all changed when borders were opened to all and sundry from interstate on December 20 2021. Returning travellers and visitors have well and truly impregnated the NT with virus. The PFC testing program has collapsed (it is held to be inconsequential) and has been replaced by the ‘hit and miss’ RATS test. That hit and miss is largely about the unavailability of testing kits, with demand totally outstripping supply.

The ultimate indignity has been the week long delay in sending texts to QR code users, advising they had been in a location at the same time as someone who tested positive. The texts do not say when (no date or time) or where (no location); just ‘sometime, somewhere’. With government no longer listing public exposure sights, receivers of these vague and imprecise texts are introduced to the uncertainty of nightmare land.

We had a good Territory system in terms of both protection and ‘place and time’ notification of exposure sites. Why have these excellent safeguards been allowed to lapse, causing uncertainty and chaos to reign.

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