Worst-Hit Australian State Marks 28 Days of No New Virus Cases

The state at the center of ’s worst coronavirus outbreak has gone 28 days with no cases of the virus, an enviable record as the U.S. and many European countries grapple with surging infections or renewed lockdowns.

One of the world’s strictest and longest stay-at-home orders enabled Victoria to crush community transmission after a daily peak of about 700 cases in early August. The success means Australia will be among a handful of western nations that can look forward to Christmas with limited restrictions on family gatherings and what authorities are calling a -normal summer.

City Locked Down Three Months Has Bleak Lesson for World

The 28-day run is “an extraordinary achievement psychologically as well as practically, in terms of opening up the economy,” said Sanjaya Senanayake, an infectious diseases physician and associate professor of medicine at the Australian National University in Canberra. But there’s no room for complacency, he warned, and Australia faces on an ongoing risk of the virus entering the community from returned overseas travelers — despite a mandatory system of hotel quarantine.

181,490 in U.S.Most new cases today

+8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​8509 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

4% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), Oct.


“The reality is, no matter how careful people are, there can always be that accidental breach or a breach where you can’t even identify the source,” Senanayake said.

@VicGovDHHS

Congratulations Victoria, 28 consecutive days of 0 new cases reported
Yesterday there were 0 lives lost and 9,828 test results received. There are 0 active cases.
More detail:
https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/averages-easing-restrictions- #StaySafeStayOpen #COVID19VicData10:09 PM · Nov 26, 2020

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Mystery Cases Trigger Overhaul of Australian State Quarantine

More than 30,000 Australians, many living in and the U.S. where the virus is rampant, are waiting to return home.

Bungled security at quarantine hotels in Victoria, which reportedly included guards sleeping with guests, saw the virus escape into the community -- leading to the three-month lockdown in Melbourne. Meanwhile, in neighboring South Australia, authorities are investigating how two security guards, a cleaner and two returned travelers contracted the virus while in hotel quarantine -- seeding a cluster of infections in the state that’s grown to at least 31.

While 28 days with no mystery cases of Covid-19 is the working definition for eliminating community transmission, the Victoria government remains wary.

“This is a wildly infectious virus, you’ve always got to assume there’s more out there than you know,” Premier Daniel Andrews said earlier this week.

— With assistance by Jason Gale

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