One NT COVID-19 quarantine escapee caught

Northern Territory police have caught a man who absconded from COVID-19 quarantine.
Northern Territory police have caught a man who absconded from COVID-19 quarantine.

A man who absconded from COVID-19 quarantine in the Northern Territory, has been taken into custody after less than five hours on the run.

Police said the 36-year-old man was seen scaling a fence at the Howard Springs Centre for National Resilience about 10pm on Friday.

Authorities are still searching for another man who escaped an Alice Springs quarantine facility.

Jeremy MacDonald, 27, is alleged to have escaped over his room's balcony about 1pm on Friday.

He returned a negative test on Wednesday, after being ordered to quarantine four days earlier for failing to declare he had visited a hotspot before travelling to the NT.

Six people have escaped quarantine facilities in the NT since November 26.

It comes as police begin investigating the border breach that ignited the current outbreak, which claimed the life of a woman on Thursday.

The unvaccinated 77-year-old Aboriginal woman from the Binjari community is the first death in the Territory from COVID-19.

The fatality came a day after the virus was detected in another remote community.

Lajamanu, 900km northwest of Alice Springs, near the Western Australia border is the third Aboriginal community to record an infection.

There are 60 cases in the territory's current outbreak. The majority are Indigenous Territorians.

The outbreak started when an infected woman illegally entered the NT in late October.

The 21-year-old lied on her border entry form before travelling from Cairns to Darwin after visiting Victoria, where she contracted the virus.

Across the NT, 88 per cent of people over 16 have had their first vaccine dose and 78 per cent both.

Travellers from hotspots can home quarantine in the NT as long as they submit to mandatory testing.

Australian Associated Press