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Australian police launch investigation into the Ruby Princess

By Maximillian Silk (People's Daily Online)    08:43, April 08, 2020

SYDNEY, April 6 (People's Daily Online) - A criminal investigation has been launched in Australia into the circumstances surrounding the docking and disembarking of the Ruby Princess which was allowed to dock in Sydney last month despite some passengers exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

To date, eleven deaths and more than 600 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the ship. No cases of COVID-19 were identified on board the ship before it docked, said by New South Wales (NSW) Health.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said his initial assessment of the vessel’s pratique left questions about the transparency in conceptualizing the health conditions of passengers and crew in relation to COVID-19.

“There appears to have been an exceptional amount of effort put in by Ports to determine the true nature of the conditions on board – and even delayed the vessel arrival until they were provided additional information”, he stated.

“After reviewing the information at hand, the only way I can determine whether our national biosecurity laws or our state laws were broken is through a criminal investigation.”

The commissioner added that investigators will examine the actions of everyone involved – whether from the cruise company or government agencies.

“This is a complex issue and we will need information from many witnesses to answer all the questions about how this ship ended up docking last month,” the commissioner said.

Police have been advised that up to 200 of the 1040 crew members currently on board the vessel are displaying symptoms, while 16 crew members are confirmed to have returned positive results for COVID-19.

Aspen Medical is continuing to assess the health of the crew on board the Ruby Princess and have developed a plan in conjunction with NSW Health, the NSW Police Force’s Marine Area Command, and Australian Border Force to manage their welfare until they can depart Australian waters.

Currently, the Ruby Princess has voyaged to Port Kembla south of Sydney with sick patients being treated on board or subjected to transferral to a hospital. NSW works with the ship's owner to repatriate 1400 crew, who come from 50 countries. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)

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