Guards for COVID patients at NT hospital

·1-min read

Security staff will guard a COVID-19 isolation room at the Northern Territory's largest hospital after an infected patient was allegedly found wandering around the hospital unsupervised.

A patient sent from the Howard Springs quarantine facility reportedly left Royal Darwin Hospital's negative pressure room and walked into its emergency department, potentially exposing staff and the community to the virus.

In response, NT Health has placed security staff outside the hospital's COVID-19 isolation room, a statement issued on Friday said.

"Patients are clearly advised of their requirements to remain in the decompression room," the statement said.

"However, in response to non-compliance, security staff are now also stationed at the decompression room to provide additional monitoring support to staff."

NT Chief Health Officer Hugh Heggie said it wasn't the first infection control breach at the hospital.

"For people to actually leave (the isolation room), that is a problem for me because that's putting themselves at risk ... but also putting other health staff and the community at risk," he said.

"There has needed to be extra security presence because of this."

An isolation or negative pressure or decompression room stops the airborne virus from escaping the room.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting