Police and Australian Border Force officers are on red alert ahead of the arrival of the cruise ship Magnifica at Fremantle Port, to make sure no-one leaves the vessel.
Premier Mark McGowan says no one will be allowed ashore when the vessel docks to refuel following its arrival about at 5am on Tuesday, amid fears at least 250 of more than 1700 passengers are suffering upper respiratory illness.
‘I will not allow what happened in Sydney to happen here,’ Mr McGowan said.
The ship arrived in Fremantle on Tuesday at 5am and police are ensuring no one disembark
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 1,886
New South Wales: 818
Western Australia: 140
South Australia: 134
Australian Capital Territory: 32
Northern Territory: 4
TOTAL CASES: 1,886
In a statement the WA government said the vessel had provided inconsistent advice to ‘both the state and federal governments, about the health of its passengers and its intentions around disembarkation’.
‘The state government’s position was clear this morning. That position was based on the latest information received from the cruise company,’ the statement said.
‘MSC Cruises now advises that all passengers and crew are ‘well’ or don’t suffer from any ‘respiratory diseases’.
Australia’s number of positive coronavirus cases stands at 1,886 and seven dead.
But ship Operator MSC denies any crew or passengers on the ship, which departed Italy in January and is on its way to Dubai, have respiratory or flu-like illnesses.
‘There is no evidence to suggest anyone onboard may be infected with COVID-19,’ the company said.
The slow-moving ship was just west of Rottnest Island around 3am and was on track to swing southeast before heading to Fremantle Port.
Meanwhile, WA will clamp down on all interstate road, rail and port traffic and order all interstate arrivals to isolate for 14 days from 1.30pm on Tuesday.
On Monday, Health Minister Roger Cook said the state had 20 new coronavirus cases, bringing WA’s total to 140. Two people are in hospital in a critical condition.
Mr McGowan said parents can keep their children home from school but they must not roam shops and beaches.
Schools will remain open until the end of term with the state to provide tools to allow students to continue learning.
Education Minister Sue Ellery said it was ‘too early to call’ any changes to ATAR exams, but plans were in place to ensure Year 12 students are not disadvantaged.
People are seen aboard the Celebrity Solstice on Friday (pictured) as it docked at Circular Quay amid the coronavirus crisis
The workers appeared to spread further away from each other as they moved further inland, as new social measuring guidelines recommend a 1.5metre distance be kept between people (pictured)
Health officials said that four cruise ships had been allowed to disembark in Sydney despite cases of coronavirus on board.
Health officials identified four cruise ships – the Ovation of the Seas, Celebrity Solstice, Ruby Princess, and Voyager of the Seas – as having confirmed cases.
But despite that huge risk to public health, hundreds of cruise ship staff poured into the city on Saturday from one of the infected ships – all without getting tested.
Three passengers and a crew member were diagnosed with the virus on the Ruby Princess.
Two of the cases happened on two separate journeys on the Voyager of the Seas, with the other last cases coming being on the Ovation of the Seas and the Celebrity Solstice.
Scores of employees could seen be after piling out of the Ovation of the Seas ship without being tested for coronavirus (pictured on Saturday)
The Celebrity Solstice (pictured) – one of the four cruise ships named as having confirmed cases of coronavirus – docked in Circular Quay on Friday
On Thursday, Ruby Princess passengers were ushered off the ship as it arrived in Sydney and flown back home without being notified several people on board had been struck down by the deadly illness.
More than 2,600 holidaymakers were on board, with three now confirmed to have the virus, as well as one crew member.
Among the positive cases are a couple who flew home to Darwin.
An email seen by the Australian shows that when the Ruby Princess arrived in Sydney on March 8, its captain claimed no one aboard was ill.
But in fact, the ship logged 158 unwell passengers using an online government portal, known as the Maritime Arrivals Reporting Systems (MARS).
Breaching MARS is an offence.
This means the Ruby Princess was then free to take on its next load of passengers and set sail to New Zealand.
It is on this cruise that four people were struck with the virus.
The Royal Caribbean International cruise ship Ovation of the Seas (pictured) returned to Sydney Harbour on March 18, after the ship was refused entry into New Zealand
The Ovation of the Seas docked at Sydney on Saturday, with crew members freely pouring out at Circular Quay – one of the city’s busiest train stations.
Employees could be seen piling out of the ship as they made their way inland past the Opera House, luggage in hand.
‘The majority of cases diagnosed in NSW were either acquired overseas or are a contact of a known case,’ NSW Health said.
‘Seventy-four cases have been locally acquired without an identified source of infection. Investigations to establish any links between cases in order to prevent further spread are ongoing.’
Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess (pictured) at Circular Quay in Sydney on Thursday
Officials are scrambling to contact thousands of people who were on board the four cruise ships, which all which visited Sydney within the last month.
Earlier on Saturday, health authorities sent an email advising Voyager of the Seas passengers that a passenger was ‘infectious while on the ship’.
This was for a cruise from March 7 to March 18, with the patient believed to be a 66-year-old man from South Australia.
‘There are no known linked cases and no evidence of an outbreak of respiratory illness on board,’ NSW Health said.
On the Ruby Princess, a doctor performed 13 swabs – later confirming four cases.
NSW Heath Minister Brad Hazzard revealed one of the passengers is ‘not particularly well’.
THE FIVE CRUISES WITH CONFIRMED CORONAVIRUS CASES
• Ruby Princess, leaving Sydney on March 8 and returning on March 19
• Ovation of the Seas, leaving Sydney on March 11 and returning on March 18
• Voyager of the Seas, leaving Sydney on February 25 and returning on March 7
• Voyager of the Seas, leaving Sydney on March 7 and returning on March 18
• Celebrity Solstice, confirmed case joined the ship in Auckland on March 10, docked in Sydney on March 20