Australia’s state Victory, the ex-epicentre of COVID-19, enjoyed the first weekend with no local cases. As AP has learned, the country has recorded no new locally transmitted coronavirus infection for the first time in almost five months.
Australia’s government said that the country has recorded zero COVID-19 cases the third day in a row. Thus, the nation is ready for the horse race, a Melbourne Cup, known as the “race that stops a nation.”
For the first time since June, Melbourne residents on Sunday enjoyed the first weekend of cafes, restaurants and pubs reopening to walk-in customers. For months, the capital of Victoria state had the highest number of cases in Australia.
According to the health authorities, Melbourne only has one mystery infection case without a known source. There are 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday.
Sunday’s zero figures made the headlines last weekend. State Deputy Premier James Merlino hailed that healthy milestone as “another great day for Victoria”. Despite the improved situation, the top official is urging caution ahead of Australia’s most prestigious horse race.
On Tuesday, the Melbourne Cup starts, and the Australians traditionally gather in bars or in private homes to watch the event, a public holiday. The race attracts crowds of more than 100,000 at Melbourne’s Flemington race course, but this year it will be held with empty stands due to the strict health protocol.
Australia’s health ministry urged people to maintain social distance
Brett Sutton, the top health official, urged Victorians to enjoy the horse race but to continue obeying guidance on face mask-wearing and one-meter distancing.
“The great majority of Melburnians know what do to,” Sutton said. “There will be a few who may be a bit liberal in their behavior.”
Western Australia state on Sunday recorded one new case of COVID-19, a woman who returned from overseas and is in hotel quarantine.
While Europe is fighting the next wave of COVID-19, Asia Pacific region also suffers from fresh infections. As an illustration, India has reported 46,964 new confirmed coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours, in a sign of continued downward trend in infections. According to the Health Ministry, more than 7.4 million Indians have recovered from COVID-19.
Chinese health authorities said Sunday they have found 61 more asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in an outbreak in the remote Xinjiang region.