NSW Australia premier apologizes over Ruby Princess cruise ship Coronavirus outbreak

   August 18, 2020 ,   Cruise Industry

The leader of Australia's New South Wales (NSW) state apologized for failing to stop people carrying COVID from disembarking from a ship in Port Sydney NSW in March 2020, triggering what was at the time the worst outbreak in Australia.

The apology from NSW's Premier Gladys Berejiklian for poor handling of the outbreak on Ruby Princess by her Government came as the number of deaths from the second wave of infections in the state of Victoria hit a record 25 on Monday, August 18.

Australia reported ~23500 Coronavirus cases and 421 deaths (fewer than other developed nations) but misstepped in the handling of Princess Cruises' liner Ruby Princess.

Ruby Princess cruise ship

A public inquiry into the outbreak concluded that NSW health officials made "inexcusable" mistakes when they allowed 2700 passengers, 120 of whom felt unwell, to leave the ship on March 19. The inquiry found 914 infections could be traced back to Ruby Princess, mostly among passengers. The outbreak led to 28 deaths.

Berejiklian apologized particularly to the 62 people who contracted the Coronavirus from a passenger.

The inquiry, commissioned by Berejiklian's government, found that NSW health officials failed to ensure that the ship knew of heightened screening for the virus, or that sick passengers were isolated in their cabins. They also failed to get quick test results for unwell passengers before they disembarked.