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4 passengers on Ruby Princess cruise in Sydney positive for Covid-19

Rosie Perper , Business Insider US
 Mar 20, 2020, 06:42 PM
Ruby Princess cruise passes the Opera House on March 19, 2020 in Sydney, Australia.
James D. Morgan/Getty Images
  • Officials in Australia are scrambling to round up thousands of passengers who disembarked from the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney on Thursday after four people tested positive for the new coronavirus.
  • Princess Cruises, which operates the Ruby Princess cruise, announced on Friday that three passengers and a crew member all tested positive.
  • New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it is possible that other passengers who disembarked in Sydney may be carrying the virus without symptoms.
  • Those who were on the ship are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days and should seek medical help if they experience flu-like symptoms.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

Officials in Australia are scrambling to round up thousands of passengers who disembarked from the Ruby Princess cruise ship on Thursday in Sydney after four people who were on board tested positive for coronavirus.

Princess Cruises, which operates the Ruby Princess cruise, announced on Friday that three passengers and a crew member who traveled on the ship have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

About 2,700 passengers disembarked from the ship on Thursday after it docked in the Sydney Harbour at around 6 a.m. local time; 1,100 crew members remain on board.

"Please be advised that all four had reported flu-like symptoms during the cruise, and, along with their stateroom occupants, were in isolation on board the ship minimising contact with other guests and crew," Princess Cruises said.

The company said it was assisting in making contact with all passengers on board.

The New South Wales Department of Health asked that people who were on the ship self-isolate for 14 days and should seek medical help if they experience flu-like symptoms. New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard said it is possible that other passengers who disembarked in Sydney may be carrying the virus without symptoms.

"Our big concern, the very big concern, is that those people came off the cruise with no knowledge of COVID-19 actually being on their ship," Hazzard said.

According to Stuff.co.nz, the ship went to several locations in New Zealand, including Wellington, before returning to Sydney.

Princess Cruises also operated the Diamond Princess, where 700 people contracted the virus after being quarantined off the coast of Japan for two weeks.

Twenty-one people also tested positive for COVID-19 aboard the Grand Princess cruise ship, which docked in Oakland, California earlier this week. A former passenger died from the illness in California.

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