Canindia News

Virus-hit cruise ship to leave Australian waters

Sydney, April 21 (IANS) The coronavirus-hit cruise ship, Ruby Princess, is scheduled to leave Australia’s waters this week, a spokesperson for New South Wales (NSW) police said on Tuesday.

The Ruby Princess has been linked to more than 600 COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths in Australia and as of Tuesday remained docked at Port Kembla, south of Sydney, Xinhua news agency reported.

So far the ship’s departure has been delayed due to the concerns for the health of those still on board, with 190 cases recorded among crew members as of Monday.

NSW police said that they would disembark at least 49 crew members from six countries on Tuesday.

One of the 49 crew members has tested positive for COVID-19, who would be taken to a NSW Health-managed hotel to undertake a 14-day quarantine period.

Once the 14-day quarantine period is exhausted, subject to a medical clearance by NSW Health, the crew member will be transported to Sydney Airport to fly back to his country of origin.

The remaining 48 crew members have tested negative for the COVID-19.

They were disembarked this morning, and arrangements would be made for flights to return them to their home countries.

“The health of those on board and protecting the people of NSW always has been — and will continue to be — our number one priority,” NSW Police Force Commissioner Mick Fuller said.

“The movement of the first crew contingent today is an important milestone, and has us one step closer to the Ruby Princess leaving Australian waters.”

–IANS

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