For the first time in almost five months, Australia has not recorded any new outbreaks in the community, according to health officials, paving the way for further easing of social isolation measures to stem the spread of COVID. 19.
The state of Victoria in Australia, which has recorded 90% of the total 907 deaths in Australia from COVID-19, did not report any new cases in the past 24 hours and no deaths for the second consecutive day.
As no cases of SARS-CoV-2 have been reported in the rest of the country, Australia is living its first day without any domestic transmission of the new coronavirus since June 9, Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
“We thank all of you, the amazing health workers and, above all, the people of Australia,” Hunt said in a Twitter message.
Strict measures taken quickly in conjunction with community compliance are credited with halting the COVID-19 pandemic before it puts pressure on Australia’s healthcare system.
The state of Victoria last week lifted most of the 111-day quarantine measures it imposed – one of the strictest and most prolonged in the world – to intercept the COVID-19 pandemic, while a recent survey from Ipsos conducted by The Age and Nine News found that the citizens of Victoria supported the state’s handling of the pandemic.
Chief of Staff Brett Sutton today hinted that there could be further easing of measures in Victoria in the coming days, but called for compliance to continue.
“When we see 50,000 cases a day in France, Belgium sends patients abroad because the health system is saturated – we could face this if we could not prevent it,” he said in a televised interview.
Australia has recorded just over 27,500 new coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the timely closure of its international borders and the imposition of social distancing measures, as well as the extensive SARS-CoV-2 testing campaign and tracking the contacts of the infected.
Australia on Friday warned its citizens not to travel to the United States because of the risk posed by violence in protests and the new coronavirus.