The jurisdiction has the nation's lowest caseload, no community transmission and no deaths. Experts weigh in on the NT's success so far — and the challenges ahead.
Last April, as coronavirus was taking hold in Australia, Northern Territory health authorities issued a stark warning: community spread of the deadly virus would be inevitable in the NT.
But a year to the day since the NT recorded its first case — a 52-year-old tourist who had been overseas before flying from Sydney to Darwin — the pandemic has so far proven that prediction wrong.
The NT is one of the last Australian jurisdictions to have avoided community transmission, and it also boasts the nation's lowest caseload and no deaths.
(The ACT has recorded one case from an unknown source, but health authorities do not regard this as community transmission.)
The majority of the NT's 106 cases have been linked to the federal government's repatriation program. Its locally acquired cases — all linked to interstate travel — can be counted on one hand.
What is behind the NT's success in its first year battling coronavirus?
Experts say it is a combination of effective public health controls and the territory's unique demography — and a healthy dose of luck.