'National donut': Australia records zero new community COVID cases
Australia reported zero new locally transmitted coronavirus cases Sunday, the country's health minister announced, sparking celebrations online of the first "national donut" since June.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said he received advice from the National Incident Centre that no cases were detected in the community in the 24 hours to 8:00 pm Saturday.
The country last reached the milestone nearly five months ago on June 9, before a second-wave outbreak in Victoria state saw a strict lockdown and overnight curfew imposed on Melbourne's five million residents.
Social media users dubbed it a "national donut", riffing on recent celebrations in Victoria when zero new daily cases were confirmed there and locals proclaimed it "Donut Day".
A small number of cases were recorded in border quarantine facilities housing travellers returning from overseas.
There are now less than 200 active cases of coronavirus across Australia, which has recorded just over 27,500 cases and 907 deaths since the pandemic began.
Australia stands in stark contrast to the United States and Europe, where tens of thousands of infections are being recorded each day.
Stay-at-home orders have been lifted in Melbourne, with restaurants, bars and shops reopening just as new national lockdowns are announced in France, Germany and England.
Authorities Down Under have now turned their focus to reuniting families split by virus measures, pledging to reopen internal borders and bring home thousands of stranded citizens from abroad before Christmas.
© 2020 AFP