Australia records zero local coronavirus cases for first time since June

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The apparent turning point comes just months after Victoria declared a “state of disaster” to stem an outbreak that saw as many as 725 people in a single day test positive for the virus in the southeastern state.

“The 1st national zero community transmission day since June 9,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Twitter on Sunday.

“Thank you to all of our amazing health & public health workers & above all else the Australian people.”

Meanwhile, Melbourne, the city at the epicenter of Australia’s coronavirus epidemic, marked its second consecutive day without any locally transmitted cases.

Since ending its strict 112-day lockdown on Tuesday, the city of 5 million has registered only seven new local Covid-19 cases.

Though Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, accounts for at least 20,300 of Australia’s more than 27,500 coronavirus cases, the number of active cases in the state has steadily declined in the past 30 days.

Prior to Sunday’s announcement, the number of new infections in Victoria had been in single digits since October 13.

In early August, Victoria was recording hundreds of cases per day, leading state authorities to implement the type of strict anti-epidemic measures that governments in Western Europe and the United States have been hesitant to enact out of fear of damaging the economy. This included placing Melbourne residents under a strict seven-week lockdown and barring nearly all trips outdoors.

The federal government also closed the state’s borders to non-essential travel.

Though the decision to lockdown Melbourne was unpopular with some people, by late September, cases had declined to low double-digits, allowing the government to begin lifting restrictions.

Authorities in the state have said they would consider lifting more restrictions if trends continue in the right direction.

CNN’s Josh Berlinger contributed to this story.

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