Australian police have arrested three teenagers on Wednesday who allegedly broke out of a CCP virus quarantine facility earlier that morning, authorities said.
The teens, aged 15, 16, and 17, all tested negative for COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. The trio was asked to quarantine at the Center of National Resilience at Howards Springs after being in close contact with one or more people who recently had tested positive, Sky News reported.
“The health risk to the community was very low, so that does give cause for comfort,” Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said, referring to the trio testing negative.
Northern Territory Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said the teenagers, at about 4:40 a.m. local time on Wednesday, allegedly climbed over a fence at the quarantine facility near Darwin in the Northern Territory.
The center is an open-air facility and one of Australia’s main quarantine centers for people returning to the country. The facility was recently also used to house people who tested positive for the CCP virus in Katherine, a town in Australia where officials said an outbreak of COVID-19 erupted last month.
Chalker said police took the trio into custody after officers chased them on foot. They are currently being questioned but it appears they have not been in close contact with the broader public.
The commissioner said that CCTV coverage at the facility will likely be increased for future incidents, ABC News reported. People who attempt to breach a quarantine order in Australia can be fined up to A$5,024 ($3,586).
In a similar incident several days earlier, a 27-year-old man, who also tested negative for COVID-19, left the same facility by scaling a fence and then fled in a waiting vehicle. Police later arrested the individual and are now searching for the driver of the waiting car involved.
In recent months, concerns have been raised about Australia’s federal and state governments’ CCP virus response, including harsh quarantine measures, emergency lockdowns, and restrictions.
Gunner responded to criticism that the Center of National Resilience at Howards Springs “is not a prison” but a place where people are taken if they “are positive for COVID-19, or they are a high risk of being positive for COVID-19,” Sky News reported.
“It’s a pretty strict place to be in, because it has to be,” he said.
The facility is an old mining camp that was turned into a quarantine center by the government in August last year. CCTV in the facility allows a good line of sight to ensure people are staying where they should. People can talk to each other across the pathways from their balconies.
The current number of active CCP virus cases in the Northern Territory stands at 58 as of Nov. 30.
From NTD News