Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING
Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

Cruise ship in Sydney hit by virus

At least three people on a cruise ship that docked in Sydney have tested positive for coronavirus.

Close to 4000 passengers and crew were on board the Ruby Princess before it docked in Sydney and passengers were allowed to disembark.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters today that the ship had completed a relatively short cruise around the Pacific to New Zealand.

Just over 1100 crew and close to 2700 passengers were on board.

"On board there were some people on board the cruise ship who presented with flu-like symptoms," Mr Hazzard said.

He said the doctor on board did 13 swabs to test for coronavirus and three have tested positive, including one crew member. Another passenger is also being tested for the virus in Tasmania.

Mr Hazzard said one of the passengers with the virus was receiving treatment at a Sydney hospital.

"One of those passengers was not at all well, and was taken off the ship and has been taken to a hospital here in Sydney, and is being cared for. That particular passenger, now patient, is not particularly well."

The ship has already left Sydney and is currently at sea, off the New South Wales coast, somewhere between Sydney and Wollongong.

Mr Hazzard said it was very important for those who had left the ship to self-isolate in their homes for 14 days.

"If you start to show any of the symptoms, whether it a fever, a cough, or any of the other well-known symptoms that can associate with - like flu, obviously - we want you to make sure you report that in, and take due medical advice.

"It is actually serious, because if we have nearly 2,700 people that were passengers on that ship, we want to know every single one of them is in quarantine."

He said contacting nearly 2700 people was "a bit of a journey" and some had not responded.

Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney on Thursday, March 19. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney on Thursday, March 19. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

 

"I'm asking the media to get that message out to the community. And to the community: If you know somebody who came in yesterday from the Ruby Princess, do our community a very big favour and have a chat and make sure that they are given this clear message.

"Put yourself in a self-isolation. Follow the rules, and if you're feeling ill, any of the symptoms that might be related to COVID-19, then make sure you contact a medical practitioner, either your local GP or the local ED in the hospital, and then take advice on what you should be doing."

The number of COVID-19 cases in NSW has increased by a "substantial" 75 people to reach more than 380.

Mr Hazzard said there had been an extra 75 cases in the 24 hours to 11am taking the total to 382.

"It's obviously quite a substantial increase and, again, it's indicative of the growing issue that faces the entire world," he said.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Cruise ship in Sydney hit by virus



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