Australia's coronavirus hot spot reports zero cases for first time since June

(Photo by Saeed KHAN / AFP)

Australia's coronavirus hot spot of Victoria on Monday reported zero cases of the new coronavirus for the first time since June, a day after the state delayed the easing of restrictions because of a fresh outbreak in Melbourne's northern suburbs.

The 5 million residents of Melbourne, Victoria's state capital, have been placed under a hard lockdown since July to contain the spread of the virus, shutting down businesses and restricting people's movements.

The city was just emerging from a second wave after the lockdown helped bring down daily cases to single digits in recent days from a peak of 700 in early August. But clusters in five suburbs had sparked fears of a new outbreak.

Australia has so far recorded just over 27,500 COVID-19 infections, far fewer than many other developed countries.

Victoria, which accounts for more than 90% of the 905 deaths nationally, did not record any new deaths from the virus in the past 24 hours.

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