After a cruise ship with hundreds of sick passengers docked in Sydney, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister on Saturday sought to reassure the public that Covid-19 precautions were sufficient.
A brief about 800 passengers onboard an Australian cruise ship test positive for Covid as it lands in Sydney:
With “in the vicinity” of 800 passengers on board testing positive for the virus, Carnival Australia’s Majestic Princess cruise ship was parked in Sydney, the capital of the most populous state, New South Wales, the firm reported.
The outbreak was given a “Tier 3” risk rating by state health officials, suggesting high levels of transmission.
Comparisons between the event and an infamous epidemic that occurred aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship in 2020 have been made. Also in New South Wales, that outbreak resulted in 914 infections and 28 fatalities, according to an investigation.
Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil stated that following the Ruby Princess incident, authorities have established “regular protocols” and that New South Wales Health will be in charge of deciding how to evacuate passengers from the Majestic Princess “on a case-by-case basis”.
O’Neil told reporters in Melbourne that the federal border force officer will support the state authorities.
According to New South Wales Health, Carnival Australia, a subsidiary of the international leisure firm Carnival Corporation & plc, reported that Covid-positive customers were isolated onboard and receiving care from medical personnel. The organization said that it was collaborating with cruise ship workers to keep track of the well-being of both guests and crew.
Carnival’s president, Marguerite Fitzgerald, told ABC television that the company instituted additional safeguards as soon as it noticed an increase in the number of Covid instances.
The epidemic coincides with an increase in Covid-19 cases in Australia, which the federal government claimed this week is a result of the Omicron variation XBB spreading through the community.