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Australia Ruby Princess coronavirus inquiry slams 'inexcusable' mistakes made by NSW Health

10:16  14 august  2020
10:16  14 august  2020 Source:   msn.com

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A NSW Health official breaks down in tears while apologising for the government department's failures in dealing with the Ruby Princess coronavirus outbreak, an inquiry hears. The Ruby Princess is Australia's largest source of coronavirus infections. (ABC News: Justin Huntsdale).

The Ruby Princess is linked to at least 21 deaths and hundreds of confirmed coronavirus cases. Over six days of hearings spread out over several weeks, the key players in the Ruby Princess It heard an assessment of the ship as "low risk" by NSW Health was based on illness figures that were

An inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship has identified "serious", "inexcusable" and "inexplicable" mistakes by NSW Health.

The ship docked in Sydney on March 19 and about 2,700 passengers disembarked despite signs of illness on board.

A special commission of inquiry investigated the decisions of those involved, including Carnival Australia, NSW Health and Federal Government agencies.

Commissioner Bret Walker SC handed his 315-page report to the NSW Government today and found all passengers on board should have been tested for COVID-19.

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Key points The inquiry is investigating the decisions made around the docking of the Ruby Princess in March Nearly 700 coronavirus cases have been linked to the Ruby Princess before the ship arrived NSW Health officials would not board the vessel when it docked.

In South Australia cases from the Ruby Princess are the single biggest cluster of coronavirus cases, making up On Saturday the NSW health minister, Brad Hazzard, said it had been a mistake to allow the 2 “The ship reported these cases to NSW Health , which in turn requested swabs to be provided

He laid bare multiple failings during the "sorry episode", taking particular aim at mistakes by NSW Health.

This included missing a "significant spike" in illness on board the ship in the days before it docked in Sydney, along with the "inexcusable" delay in testing more than a dozen swabs from the ship.

"It is inappropriate and unhelpful to make recommendations to experts that in truth amount to no more than 'do your job'," Mr Walker wrote.

The inquiry said it had been advised of 28 deaths associated with passengers from the ship.

Twenty of the deaths occurred in Australia, with a further eight deaths reported in the United States.

The commission said 663 Australian passengers went on to contract COVID-19, together with 191 crew members.

The inquiry said the total number infected with COVID-19 may never be known due to over a third of the passengers returning overseas.

The Ruby Princess became the Australia's first major COVID-19 cluster.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would read the report over the weekend and comment early next week.

More to come.

Agriculture officers did not conduct coronavirus health checks as required on Ruby Princess .
Officers from the Department of Agriculture did not follow proper processes when inspecting the Ruby Princess, neglecting to conduct health checks before passengers were let off the coronavirus-struck ship. The special commission of inquiry examining the bungled disembarkation of infected passengers handed down its report on Friday, finding blame primarily lay with NSW Health for several "serious mistakes", including classifying the ship as low risk.But when the ship docked in March, federal authorities from the Department of Agriculture and the Australian Border Force (ABF) were present.

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