The Ruby Princess has become the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak in Australia, with at least seven deaths and 600 cases linked to the stricken cruise ship.
In New South Wales alone, 340 people – 337 passengers and three crew – have tested positive to COVID-19.
The ship is still floating off Sydney, with more than a quarter of the 1000 crew on board sick and in isolation.
They are awaiting the results of coronavirus tests after medical crews boarded the ship yesterday.
Questions have been raised over who is to blame for the debacle, and this morning NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state’s police commissioner would be investigating.
Last week, Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram hit back at claims his officials were responsible for letting 27000 passengers off the ship.
Mr Outram instead laid the blame with NSW Health, saying his officers were only required to check visas and for contraband.
Yesterday, a 55-year-old man working on the vessel was evacuated for medical treatment and is being cared for in Sydney.
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said today the man was taken off the ship because he needed “intense medical assistance”.
“Yesterday there was an operation in relation to Ruby Princess, one man was taken off who needed more intense medical assistance,” he said.
“We will continue to take anyone off those ships who requires New South Wales Health assistance.
“We’re waiting for an update from Aspen in relation to the Ruby Princess and the condition of the crew.”
Deaths linked to the Ruby Princess
- March 24 – A woman, in her 70s, dies in Sydney. She was originally from Queensland.
- March 28 – A woman, 75, dies in Caboolture Hospital, Queensland.
- March 29 – A woman in her 80s dies in North West Regional Hospital in Burnie, Tasmania.
- March 30 – Elderly man dies at the Royal Hobart Hospital.
- March 30-31 – A woman in her 80s dies in Canberra Hospital, becomes ACT’s first victim.
- April 1 – A woman, 67, dies in Orange Base Hospital.
- April 2 – A man, 85, dies in Toowoomba, Queensland.