The coronavivirus outbreak in Australia has been linked to a hospital in the Northern Territory, the Health Department has said.
The Department said on Wednesday the health ministry had received reports of a patient at the University of Darwin with suspected pneumonia, and that the coronovirus had been detected in that patient.
In a statement on Wednesday, the department said: “As this is an ongoing investigation, the Department cannot confirm or deny the existence of any evidence that the patient in question is an individual with suspected COVID-19 symptoms or who is currently being treated at the Northern Territorians hospital.”
The department did not say whether the hospital had received a direct report from the Northern Territories health department, but did say it was “conducting a limited follow-up visit” to assess the hospital’s infection control measures.
“The Northern Territory health department has been contacted by the Northern Health Regional Partnership and the Northern District Health Authority (NDHA) regarding the reported patient at this time, but there is no indication at this stage that the NT Health Department is directly involved in the case,” the statement said.
“This is a matter for the Northern Government.”
The NT Health Ministry has said it is working with health authorities across the Territory to monitor and control the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 3,400 people in the region.
The virus has also spread through infected travellers, including a number of Australians who were in the United States when the outbreak began.
The outbreak has been blamed for a spike in cases in Western Australia, where the death toll rose to a record of more than 16,000.