South Australia has hit a major coronavirus milestone after a fortnight of zero new cases was recorded – a full cycle of COVID-19’s incubation.

Chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier announced on Wednesday the total number of local virus patients has remained at 438 for the past 14 days.

The developments emerged after Premier Steven Marshall flagged easing restrictions on funerals and regional travel from early next week.

While authorities have said two incubation cycles, or 28 days, was needed to lift restrictions, National Cabinet will announce on Friday a road map to a “COVID-19 safe” society.

SA’s biggest risk is now from interstate infections, Prof Spurrier said.

The Advertiser on Tuesday revealed Prof Spurrier believed interstate travellers carried the state’s biggest risk of a new COVID-19 outbreak.

On reopening the borders, Prof Spurrier said “we are not talking days”.

“It’s more useful thinking about the principles rather than the days, when there is a lower risk of community transmission,” she said.

media_cameraSouth Australian Chief Public Health Officer Dr Nicola Spurrier speaks to the media. Picture: AAP / David Mariuz

In SA 430 patients, or 99.5 per cent, are recovered – including a newly recovered case on Wednesday – there are just two active cases, while two other people are in hospital recovering from the effects of the virus but they are no longer infectious.

The active cases, none of whom are being treated in intensive care, are located in West Torrens, Burnside and Campbelltown council areas, according to newly published SA Health heat maps.

Official figures show of SA’s cases, 227 are men, or 52 per cent, and 211 are female while the median age of cases is 53 years.

The youngest patient was an eight-month-old baby boy while the eldest was 85 years old.

There have been four deaths.

The details also emerged as the Opposition called for an “urgent plan” to combat a record backlog of elective surgery cases.

SA Health figures show that more than 20,000 people are waiting for elective surgery – the highest recorded number.

This compares to 18,214, in March and 16,764 at the same time in 2018.

Elective surgery was launched last week after everything but emergency operations were banned amid the pandemic crisis.

Millions more need to download the app but deciding whether you will or won’t depends on which of these groups you fall into.

“What this highlights is we need an urgent plan to address this long waiting list and to make sure they get their surgery as fast as possible,” said Labor health spokesman Chris Picton.

The government has said that it was swiftly moving to address the backlog.



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