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Ruby Princess ship Coronavirus cases reach 48

By ,   March 23, 2020 ,   Accidents

Questions remain over how cruise passengers aboard Ruby Princess were allowed to disembark at Sydney Harbour despite some of them showing signs of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

There have been 48 cases confirmed among the cruise passengers (27 in New South Wales along with 21 interstate) since the cruise ship docked in Sydney last Thursday, March 19. 

NSW authorities insist that proper precautions were taken in order to monitor those aboard after Ruby Princess became one of 4 vessels given an exemption to the Australia-wide 30-day ban on foreign voyages.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard denied suggestions there were known COVID-19 cases onboard the cruise ship when Ruby docked.

Ruby Princess had 1,148 crew members and 2,647 passengers onboard when she sailed to New Zealand before returning to the port of Sydney. Among those onboard, 13 were identified with flu-like symptoms and tested by health authorities for COVID-19.

Ruby Princess cruise ship

According to the national protocol, provided there are “no concerns” about COVID-19 risk aboard a vessel or suspected cases - the ship may continue her sailing while samples are collected. The protocol means passengers were granted permission to disembark Ruby Princess despite ongoing testing of those people onboard presenting symptoms of the Coronavirus. 

All aboard the cruise ship were asked to self-isolate for 14 days once positive cases were confirmed. 

According to NSW Health Minister Kerry Chant, the vessel was deemed “low risk”  due to its travel route between Sydney Australia and New Zealand.

A day after passengers left the cruise ship 4 COVID-19 cases had been identified, with the number since increasing to almost 50 people.

For other Ruby Princess accidents and incidents see at the ship's CruiseMinus page.

For Coronavirus updates on cruise ship quarantines (infected passengers and crew) and top-pandemic countries (COVID-19 cases and deaths, daily updated statistics) see at CruiseMapper's Norovirus page.