Australia

Australia marks first 24 hours of no community coronavirus transmissions in almost five months


Australia has recorded no community transmission of COVID-19 in a 24-hour period for the first time in almost five months, as the situation in Victoria continues to stabilise.

Health Minister Greg Hunt on Sunday said in a tweet that the 24-hours to 8pm Saturday was the first since 9 June where no local infections were reported.

“Thank you to all of our amazing health and public health workers and above all else the Australian people,” Mr Hunt said.

NSW did announce one locally-transmitted case on Sunday, but it didn’t make the Saturday tally after being detected after the 8pm deadline.

The case is the second child authorities believe acquired the virus at Flip Out Prestons Indoor Trampoline Park in Sydney.

Victoria, meanwhile, has reported another day without any new cases or deaths, with Sunday’s statistics coinciding with Melbourne’s gradual emergence from strict lockdown conditions.

There is one mystery case of coronavirus without a known source in Melbourne and the city’s average daily case count for the fortnight up to Saturday was 2.2.

It means the state’s COVID-19 death toll remains at 819, and 907 for the nation.

The state also recorded no new cases on Saturday after a false-positive result was rejected.

“[This is] another very good day for Victoria,” Deputy Premier James Merlino told reporters.

“This is really a result of the outstanding efforts of all Victorians in getting these cases down to the state at which they are.”

Authorities have already turned their attention to Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup public holiday and are urging people to celebrate in accordance with ongoing warnings.

“The great majority of Melburnians know what do to,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Saturday.

Perhaps not everyone will do what Prof Sutton hopes though, with anti-lockdown protesters planning yet another “Freedom Day” demonstration on Cup Day.

Some Melbourne office workers could be back in place before Christmas as Victoria’s numbers remain low.

“If we can see that these chains of transmission are in check, then there is a reasonable chance of a slow and steady gradual return to the workplace,” Prof Sutton said.

Workers would not be able to be “packed into offices” and there were some concerning elements, including public transport and elevator use, that needed to be considered, he added.

“If the numbers remain low then those risks become much less in the office space as well,” Prof Sutton said.

“Some (workers) can and should return, but always depending on the numbers. Clearly there’s an economic activity by virtue of return-to-work, especially here in the CBD, and that should be a consideration.”

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania.



 

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