Australia sees major coronavirus breakthrough in weeks after only four new cases

The country has seen a total of 6,649 cases and 74 deaths from the virus.

The country has still ramped up testing, with more than 12,000 a day being carried out.

Professor Paul Kelly, the country’s deputy chief medical officer, said the low numbers have led the government to think about beginning to ease lockdown measures within three weeks.

He said on Wednesday: “Very few cases since three o’clock yesterday afternoon.

“Only four new cases.

“There may be more later, but we certainly appear to be flattening that curve very successfully at the moment.”

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Australia’s handling of the virus has been admirably swift and effective, with many factors contributing to their success.

Australian health experts say the infection rate has been steadied due to widespread testing.

They also suggest that carrier tracing, self-isolation of those at risk and strictly-enforced social distancing rules have helped flatten the curve.

The decision to restrict travel so early on also played a huge role in the country being able to combat the disease.

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Australia’s first COVID-19 case was reported in Melbourne on January 25.

It was a Chinese citizen who had arrived from Guangzhou on January 19.

The country banned the entry of foreign nationals from china just six days later, and ordered returning citizens to self-isolate for 14 days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison also took the decision to close the country’s borders on Friday March 20.

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The country does have a smaller population compared to most of Europe and other afflicted countries.

Professor Tony Blakely, epidemiologist and public health medicine specialist at the University of Melbourne, said Australia’s lower infections rates compared with countries could also be due to the country’s geographic isolation.

He said to the Daily Mail: “We had another 10-day window to actually respond and stop it getting that way.

“We worked hard to stop it getting that way but we also were lucky being down the bottom of the world we had a little bit more time to respond.”

Professor Kelly warned the public not to become complacent despite the dramatic fall in cases.

He said: “You don’t take the parachute off as you’re approaching the ground.”

The UK has suffered a grim toll from coronavirus, seeing 133,495 cases.

As of Wednesday night, it has seen 18,100 deaths from COVID-19, with 763 in the last 24 hours.

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