Almost 300 Filipino crew could be taken off the Coronavirus-hit Ruby Princess before the scheduled departure from Australia on Thursday, April 23. The cruise liner is currently docked at Port Kembla (Wollongong, NSW).
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed on Wednesday the ship's Captain was healthy and would set sail with the stricken cruise ship. Last week, there was unconfirmed speculation that Ruby Princess' captain was sick and in isolation.
Lengthy negotiations between Carnival, NSW Police, and various consulates continue and may lead to further repatriation flights from the airport in Sydney. That could include 275 Filipinos, Commissioner Fuller said.
The NSW Police chief added they would only escort crew members to a hotel and the airport in case Carnival and consulates were able to guarantee a flight had been chartered.
There are 190 crew who have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19), with 13 in NSW Health facilities. Commissioner Fuller added there were 40 crew members NSW Health was "monitoring closely" before a decision on the vessel's departure was made.
On Tuesday, April 21, a total of 57 crew were taken off Ruby Princess to fly home. 9 of the group have already departed on flights. Another 18 are expected to board planes on Wednesday. The remainder of the 57 (currently in a Sydney hotel) would "go later".
The Princess Cruises-operated (Carnival Corporation-owned) ship departed Sydney NSW Australia on March 8 for New Zealand and returned back to NSW on March 19. Its outbreak resulted in 700+ confirmed Coronavirus cases nationwide as well as at least 21 deaths.
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.