The only road into Yarrabah shut at midnight on Thursday.
Like many remote communities across Australia, the town on the tropical far northeast coast is pulling up the drawbridge to stop coronavirus from entering. Only emergency personnel and health workers are allowed in after their temperatures are checked. Rangers have stepped up sea patrols to stop access by boat.
With Aboriginal Australians among the most vulnerable due to underlying health conditions, the battle to stop the spread of the virus could literally be life or death. Indigenous communities across the world, including the First Nations in Canada, are preparing for the fight.
“It’s a very difficult crisis to manage because we’re talking about a segment of society that generally doesn’t respond well to heavy-handed rules and regulations,” Yarrabah’s senior medical officer Jason King said