South Australia on Track for Zero Virus Cases

By Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang
Jessie Zhang is a reporter based in Sydney, Australia, covering news on health and science.
April 28, 2020Updated: April 28, 2020

South Australia (SA) has now gone five days with zero new cases of the CCP virus—a milestone since the outbreak began.

The state has had a total of 438 cases, and health officials said 95 percent of these cases have recovered with just 20 active cases remaining. A 68-year-old man and a 75-year-old man, remain in a critical condition.

“Well done South Australians,” Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier told reporters on April 27.

These results prompted SA authorities to lift some community and social gathering restrictions, joining Queensland, Western Australia, Victoria, and New South Wales.

However, the state’s chief public health officer cautioned against South Australians taking their foot off the breaks just yet.

“We need to do this in a very staged and sensible way, looking at the evidence from around the world,” she said.

SA’s restrictions weren’t as severe as many of the other states. They did not close schools, beaches, national parks, nor limit gatherings to ten people. Travel to regional areas was also not banned like in NSW and WA.

Spurrier said SA will start by easing restrictions for outdoor activities, then indoors, which are harder to monitor. To continue down this path of zero cases, there is still some time to go before restaurants and bars can reopen. 

The silver lining is that those restrictions, like social distancing and increased personal hygiene, have suppressed the number of flu cases as the nation prepares to enter flu season.

Health Minister Stephen Wade said there was an 80 percent decrease in flu cases compared to the same time last year.

Although the numbers were promising, he cautioned that “a second wave of COVID-19 in the middle of a flu season would be very risky.”

April has also been the slowest month for the SA Ambulance Service this year, which has experienced a drop in demand.