Cruise ship responsible for jump in Australia coronavirus cases

Grant Boone
March 24, 2020

Traces of new coronavirus were found on surfaces in cruise-ship cabins for as many as 17 days after passengers left, researchers said, though it wasn't possible to determine whether they caused any infections.

A number of U.S. states have reported coronavirus cases linked to cruise travel, according to the report.

The ship, Carnival Corp's Ruby Princess, became the country's largest source of coronavirus infections as one of its passengers also became the eighth fatality nationally.

Australia's New South Wales state, of which Sydney is the capital, will use harsh penalties to enforce self-isolation, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said today, as the coronavirus pandemic was at a "critical stage".

"Everything was fine until the Kingdom of Tonga told us we couldn't stop there (on March 4)", Yerex said Friday from the ship.

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A female in her 70s, who was among the first group of people who had been infected on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

Charter flights have been arranged for ship passengers on Monday and Tuesday from Honolulu to Los Angeles, California; Sydney, Australia; London, UK; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Frankfurt, Germany, the company said, adding that passengers will go through "enhanced medical screening" before they are allowed to disembark the ship.

She pointed to countries that did not control the spread of the virus early on.

Morrison was due to meet with the national cabinet formed to deal with the crisis, comprising state and federal political and health officials, later on Tuesday to discuss the next steps. MSC Cruises said none of the passengers showed any signs of a respiratory or flu-like illness and the ship would travel on to Dubai. Passengers and crew on both ships were quarantined on board after previous guests, who didn't have any symptoms while aboard each of the ships, tested positive for COVID-19 after landing ashore.

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