Australia reports no new local cases

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (AP) — Australia has recorded no new locally transmitted coronavirus infection for the first time in five months.

In Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state, which had the highest number of cases in the country, residents were enjoying the first weekend of cafes and restaurants re-opening to walk-in customers.

The city only has one mystery case without a known source. There are 61 active cases left across the state, down from 70 on Saturday.

State Deputy Premier James Merlino hailed yesterday’s zero figures as “another great day for Victoria”, but urged caution ahead of Australia’s most-prestigious horse race tomorrow, the Melbourne Cup, known as the “race that stops a nation”. Australians traditionally gather to watch the event, a public holiday.

The race attracts crowds of more than 100,000 at Melbourne’s Flemington race course, but this year it will held without fans because of restrictions on public gatherings.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton urged Victorians to enjoy the Cup but to continue obeying guidance on mask-wearing and social distancing.

“The great majority of Melburnians know what to do,” Sutton said. “There will be a few who may be a bit liberal in their behaviour.”