Health staff helped a Aboriginal elder from the NT community of Binjari FaceTime her family before she passed away with COVID-19 last night.
The woman, in her 70s, died in the Royal Darwin Hospital around 11.30 on Thursday night.
NT Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Charles Pain said the death of the woman, the first person to die from COVID-related illness in the NT, is "what we feared."
"Can I just convey the sadness that we feel," he said.
"Her condition deteriorated yesterday somewhat suddenly, although she had had serious COVID for some couple of weeks.
"I would like to acknowledge the sadness of the Banjari community from losing an elder.
"It is what we feared, it was what Dr Heggie [NT Chief Health Officer] feared."
Dr Pain said staff at the Royal Darwin Hospital were devastated to have lost the woman despite their best efforts.
"The staff will be supporting each other," he said.
"They've struggled so hard to save her over the last couple of weeks."
"Unfortunately, being unvaccinated, I'm afraid that was always a possibility, it was a high risk in the circumstance."
NT Police Commissioner Jamie Chalker said the woman was assisted with contacting her family in a number of remote communities before passing away.
"Their family extended not only from Binjari but to Bulla and Pine Creek. We facilitated a FaceTime call with her family, incredible work from everybody on the ground, the compassion shown towards her," he said.
"She passed in peace."
Chief Minister Michal Gunner said resources were being sent to support the Binjari community.
"They are a tight knit community who care for each other and care about each other. This is a very hard day for them," he said.
"We've got additional resources in place to help ensure the wellbeing and welfare of the family and the communities."
Tributes flowed across the Territory for the woman following the news of her passing, including from NT Senator Malarndirri McCarthy.
"It's with deep sadness that I reach out to the Binjari families on the loss of a much-loved Elder to COVID-19. I extend my deepest condolences to everyone in Binjari and surrounds including Katherine, Bulla and Pine Creek," she said in a Facebook post.
Member for Gwoja Chansey Paech said; "Please, don't wait till this sickness comes to your community to get vaccinated."
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