How ANOTHER cruise ship was able to dock in Australia with sick passengers onboard who were then allowed to leave without being checked for deadly coronavirus – in eerie similarity to the Ruby Princess debacle
- Ovation of the Seas cruise was allowed to dock in Sydney with sick passengers
- Crew told holidaymakers they did not need to quarantine after disembarking
- Ship told authorities there were 13 sick passengers, three with high temperature
The Ovation of the Seas cruise was allowed to dock in Australia despite 13 passengers falling ill onboard amid the coronavirus crisis, it has been revealed.
The Royal Caribbean-owned ship advised federal authorities about the unwell passengers – including three with high temperatures – before docking in Sydney on March 18, Seven News reported.
Just days before passengers were allowed to disembark at Circular Quay, the crew reportedly made an announcement that Australian Border Force advised they were not required to quarantine.
At least 98 passengers who were on the cruise – which was en route New Zealand -have tested positive to COVID-19 and a 72-year-old man has died.
The revelations are strikingly similar to the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which was allowed to dock in Sydney just after day afterwards.
The Ovation of the Seas cruise was allowed to dock in Australia despite 13 passengers falling ill onboard amid the coronavirus crisis
The Ruby Princess became the largest source of coronavirus infections in Australia, with more than 600 cases infections and 15 deaths are linked the to the ship.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 6,204
New South Wales: 2,822
South Australia: 428
Western Australia: 506
Australian Capital Territory: 103
Northern Territory: 28
TOTAL CASES: 6,204
The Ovation of the Seas crew told passengers on March 16 they would not be required to self-isolate.
‘In conference with ABF, or the Australian Border Force today, we have the confirmation that none of our guests will be required to self-isolate or anything of that sort,’ the crew said.
‘We have a full, clean bill of health, so to speak. Whether you’re international or going back home in Australia, you will walk off and go home.’
But documents from the Department of Agriculture revealed 13 passengers showed symptoms of illness prior to docking.
‘The symptoms declared by the vessel included three persons with temperature over 38 degrees Celsius, eight persons with muscle aches, diarrhea, severe headaches or vomiting,’ the health report stated.
Almost 3,000 holidaymakers were free to enter Australia and even catch domestic flights when the cruise docked in Sydney on March 18.
But four days after they arrived, passengers began receiving frantic emails and calls from health officials, advising them they urgently needed to self-isolate.
The ship had not entered a foreign country, having planned to sail to New Zealand but was refused entry due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Department of Agriculture and Royal Caribbean for comment.
The Royal Caribbean-owned ship advised federal authorities about the unwell passengers – including three with high temperatures – before docking in Sydney on March 18. Pictured: Crew members walk past the Sydney Opera House after disembarking
NSW Police wearing protective gear boarded the Ruby Princess ship to seize evidence and question crew members on Wednesday night at Port Kembla, south of Sydney.
The ship is expected to remain in port for 10 days with its 1,040 crew undergoing medical assessments.
A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command are investigating the communications and actions which led to the docking and disembarking of the vessel in Sydney Harbour on March 19.
‘The only way I can get to the bottom of whether our national biosecurity laws and our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation,’ NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said
The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, the NSW Health department and Carnival Australia.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard is standing behind his staff who had allowed the Ruby Princess cruise ship to disembark.
There are more than 600 cases of coronavirus and 15 deaths linked to the Ruby Princess.
At least 98 passengers who were on the cruise from Australia to New Zealand have tested positive to COVID-19 and a 72-year-old man has died
Timeline of Ruby Princess fiasco
March 18: The Ruby Princess issues an urgent mayday call for an ambulance for two of its passengers presenting with coronavirus-like symptoms 24 hours before the ship is allowed to dock in Sydney.
March 19: The Ruby Princess arrives in Sydney Harbour. More than 2,700 guests are allowed to disembark without adequate health checks.
March 25: Australian Border Force Commissioner Michael Outram says New South Wales Health is responsible for letting coronavirus patients disembark the ship.
March 29: Several crew members are evacuated and taken to hospital after being diagnosed with coronavirus.
April 2: A 66-year-old crew member is taken off the Ruby Princess for medical treatment. More than 200 crew members are sick and in self-isolation.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian defends the actions of NSW Health and the Australian Border Force and points the finger at the Ruby Princess. She claims staff onboard may have misled NSW Health about the extent of illnesses in passengers.
April 3: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton alleges Ruby Princess’ operators weren’t transparent about the health of crew: ‘It was ‘clear that some of the companies have been lying about the health of passengers and crew on board’.
April 4: Leaked emails show NSW Health knew of the coronavirus risk on board the Ruby Princess before allowing its thousands of passengers to disembark.
April 5: A criminal investigation is launched into how passengers were able to disembark without health checks
April 8: A team of 30 detectives from state crime, counter terrorism and marine area command start investigating the handling of the Ruby Princess coronavirus scandal. The first briefing into the investigation is held.