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Australia First passengers disembark from coronavirus cruise

07:25  19 february  2020
07:25  19 february  2020 Source:   9news.com.au

Cruise ship Norwegian Jewel is placed into lockdown in Sydney Harbour as a passenger is tested for the deadly coronavirus after falling ill

  Cruise ship Norwegian Jewel is placed into lockdown in Sydney Harbour as a passenger is tested for the deadly coronavirus after falling ill A cruise ship has been placed into lockdown in Sydney Harbour over fears a passenger may have coronavirus (COVID-19). The passenger, a Singaporean man, is being tested for the deadly virus after he became unwell and was suffering respiratory illness.The ship, Norwegian Jewel, arrived in Sydney on Friday morning after a 10-day tour of New Zealand.© Provided by Daily Mail The ship, Norwegian Jewel, arrived in Sydney on Friday morning after a 10-day tour of New Zealand The man was taken from the ship while all other passengers have been stopped from leaving.

About 500 passengers have begun disembarking from the virus-hit cruise ship moored off Yokohama, Japan after 14 days of quarantine. An outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has seen 542 passengers and crew infected on the Diamond Princess- the biggest cluster outside mainland China.

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Thousands of people trapped on a cruise ship in Japan, including 200 Australians, have been released, as the Japanese Government deems two-week quarantine period onboard to be sufficient against coronavirus infection.

Passengers were released from the Diamond Princess today and moved onto Japan's national train network.

About 200 Australians aboard the Diamond Princess have their bag packed and are due to fly out tonight for Australian soil.

a group of people standing in front of a car: The first passengers disembarking from the Diamond Princess. © 9News The first passengers disembarking from the Diamond Princess. a large white ball: Japanese officials in full-body infection suits prepare to welcome disembarking passengers. © 9News Japanese officials in full-body infection suits prepare to welcome disembarking passengers.

When they arrive, they will be evacuated to a former workers' site near Darwin to begin another two-week isolation period to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

Liner denies potential virus case in NSW

  Liner denies potential virus case in NSW The operators of a Norwegian cruise ship docked at Circular Quay has denied reports of a potential coronavirus case amongst its passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line, operators of the Norwegian Jewel, said the vessel remained in operation and all the passengers were healthy. "This morning there were various false media reports related to an illness on board our ship," a Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman said in a statement to AAP on Friday."There is absolutely no truth to this. The vessel remains in operation, and all guests onboard are in good health.

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Image caption Passengers have been allowed to disembark the World Dream cruise ship. Chief port health officer Leng Yiu-Hong said all crew members - some 1 ,800 people - had tested negative for coronavirus , and that everyone would be allowed to disembark without the need to self-quarantine

Fifteen Australian passengers have declined the offer to be flown home.

Pictures: Coronoavirus (COVID 19) outbreak

Many of them are relatives of the 24 Aussies on the ship that tested positive for the virus and are being treated in Japan.

The evacuated passengers will be tested for the deadly virus five times before bunkering down at the Howard Springs facility.

The passengers were herded onto waiting buses for release. © 9News The passengers were herded onto waiting buses for release.

One of the evacuees, Cathy Pfeffer - who has been quarantined aboard the ship with her granddaughter Tehya - told Today she was looking forward to returning to Australia after being away for six weeks.

"It's going to be great to get on to Australian soil again," she said.

Ms Pfeffer backed the stringent medical screening for evacuated passengers.

"I think that's really, really necessary because we've been on the ship for 14 days, I was tested last Friday, Tehya was tested two days ago.

a bus that is sitting in a parking lot: About 200 Australians aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess are preparing to be flown to Darwin today. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AP) © AAP About 200 Australians aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess are preparing to be flown to Darwin today. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AP)

"That's the only testing we've actually had while we've been on the ship."

Ms Pfeffer, who celebrated her 70th birthday aboard the ship, said the Diamond Princess's crew had treated them well.

"They've been supportive. Kept us up to date with everything. They've been very transparent."

The cruise liner - which has had more than 500 cases confirmed, including at least 16 Australians - has been quarantined at the port of Yokohama for more than two weeks.

The Australian evacuees are facing extra time in quarantine due to the number of recent cases on the ship.

a group of people performing on a counter next to a window: Passengers quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Australian tourists aboard are preparing to be flown home. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AP) © AAP Passengers quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Australian tourists aboard are preparing to be flown home. (Yomiuri Shimbun/AP)

Australia's chief medical officer Brendan Murphy says the evacuees will have access to medical assistance 24/7.

"I can be absolutely confident that they will be very well looked after here, in much better facilities than being in a tiny cabin on a cruise ship," Professor Murphy said in Darwin.

The cruise ship evacuees will be kept separate from the hundreds of people already in isolation at the facility, who were evacuated from the Chinese epicentre of the virus.

Prof. Murphy has sought to alleviate concerns in the Darwin community, saying they will be completely protected from the disease.

Today's flight will also include New Zealanders, who will be transferred home after landing in Darwin.

Cabin crew of the Qantas flight will be subject to two weeks of home quarantine after returning from the rescue mission.

a group of people on a boat: Australians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, face stringent medical screening when they disembark.. © Getty Australians aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan, face stringent medical screening when they disembark..

Meanwhile, the 36 people remaining on Christmas Island are also preparing to fly home today, after the majority of the quarantined group returned to the mainland on Monday.

After the final group leaves, the facility will be readied for the possibility of more Australians facing the two-week isolation period.

The federal government has put $2 million towards finding a vaccine for the deadly coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

There have been 15 cases of the virus in Australia, with eight people now recovered and the rest in a stable condition.

There are now more than 72,000 cases worldwide, with 1868 reported deaths.

With AAP

Two Australian cruise passengers contract coronavirus due to ship's failure to implement 'public health 101' .
There have been two confirmed cases of coronavirus among the 164 Australian passengers rescued from a cruise ship, a situation which Psychiatrist and Author Tanveer Ahmed suggested was caused by a failure to implement "public health 101" on the ship.Two Queensland women who were on the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship have tested positive to the coronavirus after being evacuated to Howards Springs outside Darwin.

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