NSW Police to investigate Ruby Princess

Henrietta Brewer
April 5, 2020

That determination was made after emails between the ship's physician and NSW Health that outlined issues over 110 sick passengers onboard. "New South Wales Health will be investigating that", Professor Murphy said.

"In addition to these laws, New South Wales Health adopted new national protocols in early March for cruise ships relating to COVID-19", he said.

A major police operation is underway in Sydney Harbour to move crew between cruise ships before they leave Australian waters.

"Operation Nemesis", planned and executed by the NSW Police Marine Area Command, worked closely with the NSW Ports Authority and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line to coordinate the safe return of the ships to their home ports.

"If the NSW Police are taking steps towards (the investigation) then they have information that would lead them to warrant that type of action and I would welcome that", Mr Littleproud told Sky News on Sunday.

The doomed Ruby Princess cruise ship was set to be stopped from coming into Sydney Harbour till a final minute backflip by port authorities, leaked telephone calls reveal.

The cruise ships and government have been locked in a stalemate after the vessels were banned from docking due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

"But the emergence of Hendra virus in Australia demonstrated that diseases do not differentiate between animals and humans, so neither will we, as we step up our preparedness and response to both in a more holistic way", he said.

He said police hoped to establish whether Carnival was downplaying the symptoms of ill passengers on board by "getting the ship's records, the records from the doctors on the ship" and by talking to the thousands of passengers who were on board, as well as NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard.

Mr Hazzard said such accommodation could still be used overnight for travellers, workers in the local community and those who didn't have access to their usual address - most notably those who lost their homes during the devastating bushfires over the summer.

Commissioner Fuller also confirmed that a crew member had been removed from the Ruby Princess on Sunday for treatment, and that "near 200" crew members were experiencing symptoms.

"We are hoping to find a safe port".

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said the daily rate of case increases is less than they were a week ago, and reflect measures taken to stop the spread of the virus.

Federal Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy would not be drawn on the criminal probe, but described the situation surrounding the Ruby Princess as "very unfortunate".

"Everyone was making the best decision they could on the information they had at the time".

Other reports by iNewsToday