‘They should have a roadblock’: why the NT must delay opening its border to protect First Nations people

Claire Smith, Jasmine Willika

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Abstract

The current string of COVID-19 outbreaks in Aboriginal communities in remote areas of the Northern Territory will only get worse if the NT government opens its borders on December 20, as planned. The government should heed the call by John Paterson, CEO of the Aboriginal Medical Services Alliance NT (AMSANT), for the borders to remain closed until January and for a surge workforce to accelerate vaccinations and relieve exhausted medical staff. We are making progress but more needs to be done, such as: more effective, targeted messaging about how COVID-19 is transmitted; more culturally safe ways of dealing with COVID-19, guided by traditional owners; better ways to manage outbreaks in communities, such as mobile medical tents to minimise the trauma of people being locked up away from their Country and family when they need to quarantine. A facility in Katherine is also needed urgently. Aboriginal people in remote areas have the answers. To protect these vulnerable communities, we need to listen to them.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationThe Conversation
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • covid-19
  • Aboriginal communities
  • remote areas
  • Northern Territory

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