Sydney, Australia, Nov 1 (efe-epa).- Australia has recorded zero community transmissions of Covid-19 for the first time since June 9, authorities announced Sunday, days after a strict lockdown in the Melbourne metropolitan area was lifted.
“It’s been an enormous national effort, and it’s a huge national achievement,” Australian health minister Greg Hunt said in a video message posted to his Twitter account.
“There’s more to be done but I just want to say to all of our health workers: thank you. To our public health workers and officials: thank you. And to the Australian public, above all else, the deepest of ‘thank yous’ for what has been the hardest of years, but the most significant of achievements.”
Prime minister Scott Morrison also praised the country’s efforts – dubbed “donut day” by many on Twitter – but warned that Australia’s achievements could be undone without proper precautions being taken.
“Well done Australia. How good! Let’s keep it that way. We’ve seen here, and are seeing again overseas, how quickly this virus spreads, so please stay Covid-Safe,” the prime minister said.
Australia is one of the countries that has so far best dealt with the coronavirus, having registered 27,500 cases and 907 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. These figures are dwarfed by those being reported in Europe and the United States.
Australian authorities imposed several measures limiting people’s movement in several states between March and May, but in July contagion began to rise rapidly in Victoria, especially in Melbourne, the state capital.
To contain the outbreaks, the state government imposed a strict lockdown in the Melbourne metropolitan area on July 9 that has been lifted this week, although there are still limitations such as a ban on travel beyond a 25 kilometer radius until November 8.
People are once again allowed to leave their homes without restrictions, and shops, bars, and restaurants can reopen.