Two more people in Western Australia have died of coronavirus, taking the nation’s death toll to 48.
An international traveller in his 70s who caught the deadly respiratory infection on the Arcadia cruise ship died in Joondalup Hospital on Tuesday.
A woman, also in her 70s, also died in Royal Perth Hospital after contracting the disease overseas.
Six people have now died in the state.
Tuesday became the most deadly day Australia has experienced so far in the battle against coronavirus, with seven fatalities recorded by 5.30pm.
In Western Australia, an additional 10 new cases were diagnosed overnight, bringing the total known infections to 470. Of the new cases, nine are in metro areas while one is regional.
Nationally, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases soared to 5,906 by Tuesday afternoon.
So far 48 people have died from coronavirus in Australia, including seven deaths confirmed on Tuesday
Premier Mark McGowan said people can’t be complacent, despite the infection rate lowering.
‘This is a marathon, not a sprint,’ Mr McGowan said.
‘Even though the numbers in WA are promising … we have no reason whatsoever to get complacent now.’
Earlier on Tuesday, a 14th Ruby Princess cruise ship passenger died in Tasmania.
The Ruby Princess cruise ship is docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong, as a criminal investigation begins into why 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney Harbour on March 19 despite having multiple travellers who were ill with coronavirus symptoms.
The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, NSW Health and ship operator Carnival Australia.
The ship is expected to spend up to 10 days in Port Kembla as its 1,040 crew members undergo medical assessments, treatment or emergency extractions.
A Ruby Princess cruise ship passenger in his 80s has died from coronavirus in hospital, taking Australia’s death toll to 46
Some 200 have symptoms of the illness. Two of the crew members were taken off the ship on Sunday for medical assistance.
It’s understood Border Force officials and health workers will board the ship and test crew members displaying coronavirus symptoms as well as deliver medical supplies.
The ship will remain docked at the port for up to 10 days, with no crew to be let off without permission from NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller.
NSW police said the Ruby Princess will dock ‘to allow for safer access for medical assessments, treatment, or emergency extractions of her crew’.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 5,906
New South Wales: 2,686
Western Australia: 470
South Australia: 411
Australian Capital Territory: 97
Northern Territory: 28
TOTAL CASES: 5,906
‘The berthing will be conducted under strict health and biosecurity guidelines and will not pose a risk to employees at the port or the broader community,’ a police spokeswoman said.
‘She will also be refuelling and restocking provisions, as required for her home journey.’
Mr Fuller said NSW Police will work closely with the 1,040 crew members on the ship, who are from 50 different countries.
‘Obviously the health and wellbeing of the crew members is essential,’ he said.
‘Between NSW Health, NSW police and the emergency management team a plan has been developed that will be around isolation on the ship.
‘And then from that, from that 10-day period of isolation we can then continue to work with Carnival in relation to repatriation of the individuals on the ship.’
The Ruby Princess cruise ship is docked in Port Kembla, near Wollongong, as a criminal investigation begins
Labor’s health spokesman and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park accused the NSW government of trying to ‘dump’ its problems on the Illawarra
Labor’s health spokesman and Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park accused the NSW government of trying to ‘dump’ its problems on the Illawarra.
‘It is unbelievable that in the cover of darkness the vessel that has been the epicentre of coronavirus in NSW sails into the harbour,’ he told reporters at Port Kembla on Monday.
‘Everyone wants to see the crew on board this ship get the medical attention they need and deserve, but the majority of health and hospital resources are located just a few kilometres from Sydney Harbour.
‘It beggars belief that a government has made a decision to move this ship down to the Illawarra when they have a large number of ICU beds and hospital resources located within close proximity of Sydney Harbour.’
Mr Park said he is ‘extremely concerned’ that an influx of sick crew members needing medical treatment will put a strain on Wollongong Hospital and its intensive care capacity.
The ship will remain docked at the port for up to 10 days, with no crew to be let off without permission from NSW Police commissioner Mick Fuller
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