That many Australians are now in an exemplary position would have been unthinkable just a month ago, where the national daily infection rate reached three figures. But on Friday, the whole country reported only 16 new cases, a sharp decline from the peak of 460 new infections on March 28.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday that the country would consider relaxing national lockout guidelines next Friday, earlier than planned.
“Australians have got initial scores,” Morrison said. “We need to restart our economy, we need to restart our society.”
“There are no more cases in South Australia. This is a landmark for us,” South Australia’s Head of Public Health Service Nicola Spurrier said with a big smile during a press conference on Wednesday.
“I think many people are shocked in Australia at how well we have done. Really, when you look at all states and territories, this is the safest place in the world, maybe besides New Zealand,” he said.
Neighboring New Zealand recently achieved its ambitious goal of “eliminating” the corona virus, which means that while the daily infection rate has not yet reached zero, the country can trace the origin of each new case.
In total, Australia has reported 6,762 confirmed cases, 92 of which have died and 5,720 have recovered, according to federal health authorities.
“We continue to do very well in Australia to suppress the virus and we have well and truly leveled the curve of new cases and infections,” a spokesman for the Australian Department of Health said in a statement Thursday to CNN.
“Safety has become our fundamental focus and the success of our repression strategy means that Australia is very similar to New Zealand, which has stated its strategy is aimed at elimination.”
Australia’s success in taming the outbreak began with initial steps to prevent entry from high-risk areas.
On 1 February, Australia joined the United States in closing its borders to all foreign visitors who were recently in China, where the outbreak was first reported in December last year.
“What we are doing is closing meetings in pubs and clubs and things like that, we are not putting in a lock that will limit people to their homes,” Morrison said at the time.
The state of Victoria closed schools, and several states, such as Western Australia and South Australia, closed their borders, requiring anyone to enter quarantine for two weeks.
Never expand testing
While business closures, schools, travel restrictions and social distance rules are common steps adopted by many governments around the world, Australia has also paired these restrictions with extensive testing.
In comparison, Britain, with a population of more than 2.5 times Australia, has conducted 763,387 tests.
Last week, the criteria were extended to anyone who showed the mildest symptoms for Covid-19, Chief Federal Medical Officer Brendan Murphy announced.
Draw anger from Beijing
While Australia appears to have succeeded in containing coronavirus, Australia has been involved in a diplomatic dispute with China after demanding an international investigation into a coronavirus outbreak.
The drive quickly drew the ire of Beijing, which denounced the move as “political maneuvering.”
“This is a virus that has claimed more than 200,000 lives throughout the world. It has killed the global economy. The implications and effects are extraordinary,” he said.
“It seems entirely reasonable and plausible that the world wants to have an independent assessment of how this all happened, so that we can learn the lessons and prevent them from happening again … I believe there will be support for the right time, to ensure we do that,” added Morrison.
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]