A concerned Darwin father has questioned why he wasn’t contacted by the Northern Territory government after he found out his son was on the same flight as a now-confirmed case of COVID-19. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley
A concerned Darwin father has questioned why he wasn’t contacted by the Northern Territory government after he found out his son was on the same flight as a now-confirmed case of COVID-19. Picture: AAP Image/James Gourley

Concerned dad of man on COVID-19 flight calls for better communication

A CONCERNED Darwin father has questioned why he wasn't contacted by the Northern Territory Government after he found out his son was on the same flight as a now-confirmed case of COVID-19.

George Alexopoulos said he found out through a friend that his 20-year-old son was one of about 60 passengers on Qantas flight QF824 from Brisbane to Darwin on March 19, which they later found was also boarded by a 21-year-old woman who later tested positive for the virus.

Mr Alexopoulos said he had received mixed advice from a number of health authorities about whether or not his son and the rest of his family would have to self-isolate.

"As soon as I found that out I tried to ring the relevant people," he said.

"We called the national hotline and they said you should isolate everyone (who lives in the family home).

"Then we rang the NT number about testing and they said you should isolate your son but you should be OK."

He said he had become increasingly concerned when several days later he hadn't been contacted by the Health Department.

"There (were) only 60 people on that plane, I don't know why they didn't ring us up and tell us what's going on," Mr Alexopoulos said.

"You don't have to be sitting right next to someone to get it in a confined space like that - it could be through the airconditioning, touching surfaces while going to the toilet."

According to the Department of the Chief Minister, the current protocol is that only people sitting within two rows of the person in question are contacted directly.

The NT Government announced on Sunday it was tracing three flights, and that those who were on them should contact the Public Health Unit.

Originally published as Concerned dad of man on COVID-19 flight calls for better communication


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