Australian police have arrested three people who escaped a Covid-19 quarantine compound near Darwin in the Northern Territory. They had all tested negative the day before they broke out.
On Wednesday, police alleged that three people had scaled the perimeter fence of the compound in order to break out of the facility situated near Darwin in the Northern Territory. Police say the trio escaped Centre for National Resilience just before 4:40am.
Officers had set up checkpoints and were inspecting cars in the area in an attempt to find the absconders. The three were swiftly caught and taken into custody.
“Police and staff at the Centre for National Resilience are currently confirming the absconder’s identities prior to releasing further information,” authorities stated.
Officials did not confirm whether the inmates were returning travelers or local citizens who had been put into quarantine. According to the BBC, the center has been used in recent days to house people infected with Covid-19 from an outbreak in Katherine, a town 300km (185 miles) away.
The Howard Springs site can hold up to 2,000 people; it is situated within an old mining camp which was turned into a quarantine center by the Australian government in August.
The three individuals arrested had tested negative for Covid-19 on Tuesday.
Fears of contagion were heightened after one person housed at the facility, having returned from South Africa, had tested positive for the highly mutated Omicron variant on Tuesday.
On Friday, a 27-year-old man scaled the facility’s perimeter fence and jumped into a waiting car. He was later arrested but tested negative for Covid-19.