Katherine's Mayor Fay Miller has called for the Northern Territory border to be closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus outbreak.
Just one person has been confirmed to have contracted the virus in the Northern Territory - a 52-year-old tourist who tested positive to COVID-19 on March 4, who remains at Royal Darwin Hospital.
Yesterday, the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, Michael Gunner put a stop to non-essential travel to remote communities, and established measures decided at a federal level to reduce the risk of an outbreak.
Those measures included requirements of a 14 day self-isolation for all people arriving to Australia, and a ban on mass gatherings.
But the Mayor, today, said more needed to be done to reduce the potential risks of COVID-19.
"The Territory is moving far too slowly on this matter," she said.
"The NT borders need to be closed to reduce the risk of a spread.
"We only have one case here, but if it gets into our communities it could wreak havoc."
She said Katherine's health system is not equipped to handle the escalating crisis.
With the town already burdened by a critical shortage of doctors, and a high percentage of people with chronic health problems, an outbreak could be catastrophic, she said.
"The Territory is doing well at the moment, and that's the way I'd like it to stay," she said.
"We have been meeting with the NT Government to push for more serious action and to get the government to seriously consider closing the barders."
She said the CEO of the LEGANT, Sean Holden, is flying to Canberra today to participate in a country-wide discussion with the Prime Minister of Australia - where he will also be requesting for stricter limitations on who can enter the Territory.
On the matter of the potential impacts on Katherine's tourism industries, which rely heavily on an influx of travellers driving from interstate, the Mayor said the industry "was already hurting".
"The risk to our communities is too great," she said.
"I am concerned for the whole of Australia, and I have no idea what we could do to make it better.
"But we need to do everything we can to make sure coronavirus does not spread."
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