Published: Thu, March 26, 2020
Global News | By Blake Casey

Australia tells ships to leave over COVID-19 cases

Australia tells ships to leave over COVID-19 cases

In Australia, The Ruby Princess outbreak sparked anger over why passengers, more than a dozen showing flu-like symptoms, were cleared to disembark without basic health checks.

The MV Artania had been sitting off the WA coast after it was refused port due to seven passengers testing positive to COVID-19.

Australian sates have cracked down on arrivals from cruise ships following the Ruby Princess' disembarkation Sydney, after which 130 passengers were found to have coronavirus.

There was little health authorities could do to prevent the disembarkation of asymptomatic cruise passengers, she said on Wednesday.

"This ship needs to leave immediately", he told reporters.

Cruise ships have become a flashpoint after 147 of 2700 passengers who were allowed to disembark from Carnival Corp's Ruby Princess later tested positive for COVID-19, a blunder that has highlighted official tensions in the handling of the crisis.

The ABC reported two other cruise ships are being prevented from docking at Fremantle, about 14 miles south-west of state capital Perth.

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As the Coronavirus pandemic has sent almost the entire world in a lockdown situation, nearly 800 cruise passengers in Australia will be quarantined on an island, home to hundred of the country's "cutest marsupials" - the quokkas.

A report in The Australian, citing "several state government MPs", said Ms Berejiklian told a party-room meeting of Liberals that the Australian Border Force ultimately made the decision to allow the passengers ashore.

Well, since then, members of crew and passengers alike have been allowed to disembark from the besieged cruise ship, but according to Bloomberg and CNBC, one guest still lingers.

While Australian citizens and permanent residents will be quarantined on the island of Rottnest when the Vasco de Gama ship arrives at the port of Fremantle, western Australia, non-nationals will have to remain on the ship. "One, to protect the safety of the Australian passengers; and two, to protect the West Australian community from any possible infection transmission from this cruise ship". MSC Cruises declined to comment on the destination of the vessel, which it has said has no unwell passengers.

Further job losses are expected, with some economists expecting Australian unemployment to double this year to more than 11 per cent.

The ship has been linked to 44 new cases of the illness in South Australia.

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