After 28 days without any new cases or deaths from the coronavirus, the state of Victoria in Australia, which endured one of the strictest lockdowns in the world in recent months, announced on Friday that it had eliminated the virus.
“Today, we mark the 28th day of zero cases across our state,” Daniel Andrews, the premier of Victoria, told reporters on Friday. “That is something that all Victorians should be fundamentally proud of.” On Dec. 6, Mr. Andrews is scheduled to announce a further easing of restrictions before Christmas.
In July, after a breach in Melbourne’s hotel quarantine system caused an outbreak of the virus, the Victoria state authorities clamped down by enforcing a strict lockdown that included travel regulations and mask rules. Restrictions have largely eased, but people in Victoria are still required to wear masks while indoors, and there are limitations on both indoor and outdoor gatherings.
Public health experts said the state’s success was proof that when the public adhered to strict regulations, the virus could successfully be eliminated.
Many Victorians celebrated the news online. “In the depth of that grim, grim winter I didn’t dare hope this was possible,” Miki Perkins, a local reporter, wrote on Twitter.
Richard Denniss, a prominent Australian economist, also said on Twitter that the state’s stamping out of the virus proved that trusting in public health experts worked, and was also good for Australia’s economy. “Wow! Just wow!” he wrote. “Science works.”