NSW Health under fire for coronavirus cruise ship blunder

NSW Health is coming under increasing criticism after it allowed 2700 passengers to disembark from the Ruby Princess in Sydney despite the fact that some of them had coronavirus.

Experts claim that more than 300 people on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship could have already contracted coronavirus by the time it docked at Circular Quay, where they were allowed to travel home on public transport throughout the country.

To date 133 people (107 in New South Wales and 26 interstate) have been diagnosed with Covid-19 after leaving the ship, with one since dying.

Despite some of the passengers in isolation on the ship showing symptoms of Covid-19, the passengers were all allowed off with nothing more than a declaration they would self-isolate for 14-days once they returned home.

While the state and federal governments bickered over who was at fault, the Australian Border Force today squarely laid blame for the stuff-up on federal agricultural authorities and NSW Health, saying they acted on their orders.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said in hindsight he would not have allowed the passengers on board to disembark after initially deeming them a low risk.

Eight ships including seven cruise-liners carrying thousands of passengers are set dock in Sydney over the next week.