Australia Begins COVID Quarantine Camps, Total 24-Hour Lockdowns for Positives and Contact Traces

By Neil Campbell | November 23, 2021
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
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A Northern Territory resident suffers during the heat with a face mask during 23-hour COVID lockdowns.
A Northern Territory resident wears a face mask in the heat during his hour of exercise amid 23-hour COVID lockdowns in August. The state has begun sending those who test positive and contact trace to a positive test to state-run quarantine facilities. Additionally, two small villages were placed under total, 24-hour lockdown. Residents are unable to leave their homes for food, which will now be supplied by government workers. (Image: Charlie Bliss/Getty Images)

Australia’s Northern Territory state has initiated the usage of quarantine camps for people who test positive for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in addition to total lockdowns where residents are not permitted to leave for food. 

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Michael Gunner on Nov. 20 on Facebook where the politician said a “testing blitz” of 3,005 PCR tests in the state resulted in nine positives between the ages of 17 and 78 in the community of Binjari, which has a population of 274 people according to Google.

The eldest was symptomatic and transferred to hospital, while the others were sent to the Centre for National Resilience for “monitoring and care.”

The Centre is the new name for the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility, according to the website for developer AECOM. Originally designed as a mining camp, it began “hous[ing] Australians repatriated from overseas” as the Northern Territory’s de facto 14-day quarantine hotel.

A Jan. 14 piece promoting Howard Springs published on YouTube by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation appears to show the site is less of a “comfortable respite from daily construction work” and a “place to call home” as AECON describes, but instead a series of trailers.

Reporting shows that food is made in a centralized kitchen and then carted to each trailer, indicating that those held at the facility are not free to move about.

A November of 2020 promotional video by a small YouTube channel chronicling a stay at the facility revealed that the hosts, a husband and wife team, were kept in separate rooms. The channel said they were free to spend time on their balcony, go into each others’ rooms, and could even visit others in neighboring trailers.

The duo noted they paid $5,000 AUD out of pocket for their stay at the facility.

A Sept. 24 TikTok video by an Australian citizen being held at the camp showed a less relaxed experience. As he stood outside in the heat, adorning a blue face mask, he lamented, “We’re all just waiting patiently to be fed. It’s like when you shake the bag of dog treats and the dogs come running. We’re all just outside waiting.”

The man recounted an instance where facility police swarmed a woman in a trailer across from him because she pulled her mask down to take a sip of the tea, “The cops came around literally on the dot and just pulled her up for it.” 

Gunner said the state had expected to find positive cases in the area as a result of surveillance of the community’s waste sewage.

In an “update on wastewater,” Gunner said the administration knew where to find positive PCR tests because of sewage test results in the Katherine and Bicentennial Road areas, noting, “Given we have removed the positive cases identified in that area, it does concern us that we are still getting positive readings there.”

“That means it’s likely there is still a positive case or cases in that part of Katherine, who have not come forward for testing.”

The Chief urged Katherine residents to “please get tested today.” 

Citizens living a normal life was attributed as the cause of the outbreak by Gunner, “What’s more concerning is the evidence of substantial mingling between households in Binjari, as well as mingling and back and forth between Binjari and the nearby community of Rockhole…”

Gunner continued, “These communities have very strong personal and family connections. It probably helps to think about them more as one big household rather than a lot of different households.”

Moreover, the Chief Minister announced that his administration “took urgent action to escalate our response” by implementing “a hard lockdown.”

Residents of Binjari and Wallace Rockhole, another micro community with 67 residents according to Google, are no longer allowed to leave their homes for any reason, including food, except for “medical treatment, in an emergency, or if required by law.”

“Yes, these are strong measures, but the threat to lives is extreme,” claimed Gunner. 

The notice also said that an “expanded Rapid Assessment Team was deployed” to “help with the hard lockdown, begin the contact tracing work, and provide as much support as possible to residents.”

The Team will be supplying food to those who have been placed under house arrest.

The Australasian Emergency Care website describes a Rapid Assessment Team as “a team of senior nursing and medical staff who work from the triage area.”

The Guardian stated on Nov. 21 that the Australian military had been deployed to transfer citizens to quarantine camps.

According to Weather.com, Binjari is scheduled for highs of 105F and lows of 77F through the end of November and first part of December.

Gunner also noted that 38 contact traces of the 9 positive tests had been transferred to the Howard Springs quarantine camp, and expected more to follow.

“At this stage there is very little chance of Binjari and Rockhole exiting any form of lockdown in the next few weeks,” said Gunner, who also described the areas as a “low-vax community.”

The Chief said on Facebook that removal from lockdown was contingent on vaccine acceptance, “Fully vaccinated Katherine residents would be free to work and move about, but residents who are not fully vaccinated would have to stay in lockdown for a little longer.”

“So you need to get the vaccine now – before you catch the virus – so you can stay safe, stay healthy, and stay alive.”

Red precedents

The usage of quarantine camps and draconian lockdowns has been the go-to approach deployed by countries such as communist-run Vietnam and China. Although Vietnam was lauded in the international establishment media for appearing to get a handle on the pandemic in its early stages, it turns out the regime was simply sequestering droves of citizens in state-run holding cells.

Footage from mainland China emerged on Twitter on Nov. 6, showing dozens of state employees dawning full protective gear appearing to prepare a train for transport.

Other videos by the same user show that quarantine camps set up in China are of a similar structure to the Australian facilities, but much more spartan. In one, a man stands holding onto the bars of his window like a prisoner in a tiny metal house, while in another, people are held in metal boxes that appear to be smaller than a bathroom while their heads hang from a cut out window in the door for fresh air.

A third video shows a man demonstrating a tiny room with only a toilet and a wood plank bed with no mattress. He says they have to pay more than 5,000 Yuan to live in the cage for 21 days.

In Shanghai, 34,000 Halloween-night attendees of the city’s Disneyland were besieged by government staff in full personal protective equipment as an immediate snap lockdown was enacted after one woman, who had attended the facility the day prior, was contact traced to another individual who registered a positive PCR test.

The woman herself was contacted by Party enforcers while commuting on a local train, arrested at the next station, and sent to a quarantine camp.

In another instance, a woman who was held in a government quarantine facility in Jiangxi Province witnessed CCP staff beat her pet corgi to death with a crowbar via an app connected to a security camera in her home.

In January, attorney Michael Senger and 9 other professionals penned an open letter, complete with more than 250 citations, to the FBI and DOJ, along with the U.S., UK, Australian, German, and Canadian intelligence communities documenting how the world’s response to the pandemic, including how it had been framed by establishment media, simply mimicked the Chinese communist regime’s seemingly successful approach to handling Wuhan City during the earliest stages. 

Quarantine camps also exist in North America. The Washington State government was hiring for a 12-month contract position for a Isolation & Quarantine Team Consultant to staff a converted hotel facility in September, and similar trailer-based facilities also exist in Washington State and Winnipeg, Canada, among other locales.