South Australia, the NT and ACT record ZERO coronavirus cases over the entire weekend after widespread testing – sparking calls for lockdowns to be eased
- South Australia, NT, ACT have no new cases of coronavirus over the weekend
- Western Australia has only one new case on Sunday, a man from the goldfields
- Slowing growth of the virus prompts calls to ease harsher lockdown measures
- Banning people from sitting in parks is not ‘biologically needed’ expert says
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Australia’s falling coronavirus infection rate has sparked calls for a loosening of lockdown rules, but experts warn restrictions must stay until after winter.
South Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory all reported no new cases of coronavirus over the weekend.
Queensland also reported no new diagnoses of COVID-19 for the first time in more than two months on Monday.
South Australia, with a population of 1.76 million remained at only 81 confirmed cases as of Sunday evening despite a testing blitz of more than 5000 coronavirus tests across the state during the past 9 days
South Australia (an empty terminal at Adelaide Airport pictured), the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory all reported no new cases of coronavirus over the weekend
‘Right now, the Territory is probably the safest place in Australia and we intend to keep in that way,’ Chief Minister of the Northern Territory Michael Gunner said last month
The state’s last increase was an uptick of one case on Friday.
SA Health Minister Stephen Wade said it was too soon to remove border controls but other restrictions would ease in the next few weeks, including for elective surgery.
‘The border control will not be the first wave of restrictions eased. We’re going to be very cautious as we ease back on these restrictions,’ he told ABC News on Sunday.
For Queensland it is the first time in 81 days that there are no new cases and leaves the state’s total at 1019.
Just 20 people are in hospital in the sunshine state, with seven of them in intensive care on ventilators.
The Northern Territory, with a population of 245,600, had just 28 cases as of Sunday and no deaths.
‘The Northern Territory is in a unique position, it’s one of the safest places in the world — we want to keep it that way,’ Health Minister Natasha Fyles said.
Australian Medical Association NT president Rob Parker praised the NT Government for swiftly shutting the borders. +9
Olympic cyclist Annette Edmondson trains at her home in Adelaide. South Australia Health Minister Stephen Wade said it would consider easing restrictions in the state in coming weeks
Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon tweeted this graph on Sunday morning saying the peak had been reached but restrictions would need to stay
Anyone entering the NT from overseas or interstate has to spend 14 days in quarantine in a hotel and must foot the $2500 bill themselves.
The ACT, with a population of just over 428,000, has gone six straight days without recording any new cases leaving the number of confirmed infections at 103 on Sunday.
Western Australia, with a population of 2.63 million, almost made it through the weekend, marking just one new coronavirus case on Sunday taking the state’s total to 545.
WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the 60-year-old man was found through contact tracing of a confirmed case and had tested positive in the state’s gold fields.
There were no new diagnoses in Perth, which joined Adelaide, Canberra and Darwin as cities that saw no confirmed cases over the weekend.
NSW Police move people from a park in Sydney’s east on Saturday. An infectious diseases expert has said this is biologically unnecessary and too strict as long as people are distancing
The cruise ship Artania departed Fremantle on Saturday after 400 crew and 11 passengers still on board completed a 14-day quarantine period, while on Sunday morning a flight carrying 58 remaining passengers and crew left Perth bound for Bangkok.
The vessel is the source of least 81 of WA’s coronavirus cases and 11 of its crew and passengers were still in Perth hospitals as of yesterday.
New South Wales, Victoria, and Queensland, Australia’s three most populous states, all recorded increases over the weekend, with the national total rising to 6612 cases nationwide on Sunday.
Australian medical assistance staff (pictured) who helped passengers and crew on the cruise ship Artania waving goodbye as it left Fremantle, WA, on Saturday. New case numbers are slowing with just one new WA coronavirus case on Sunday taking the state’s total to 545
Passengers of the cruise ship Artania wave goodbye to medical support staff at Fremantle, WA, on Saturday. The Artania is responsible for at least 81 of Western Australia’s coronavirus cases
The rate of new cases has declined after Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced tough restrictions on travel and gatherings on March 16.
The Prime Minister has said Australia needs to meet three criteria before the restrictions can be lifted.
Increased tracing and response capabilities and refined testing regimes are among the criteria.
Refined testing regimes, better contact tracing and better response capabilities at a local level are benchmarks that must be achieved before Australia’s National Security Cabinet can look at lifting the lockdown.