SYDNEY, Australia – The coronavirus disease death toll in New South Wales rises to 19 as the Ruby Princess cruise ship investigation gets underway.
On Monday, the Ruby Princess stays docked in Port Kembla in New South Wales as the criminal investigation continues as to why authorities allowed the sick passenger to get off the vessel.
The investigation started as the cruise ship got linked to 622 coronavirus cases, with 12 deaths recorded.
The homicide squad of the NSW Police is leading the current investigation. The authorities aim to find out the reason why the ship allowed passengers to disembark on March 9 as it docked in a port in Sydney. It caused the passengers to disperse all over the city despite the warnings that some may have contracted COVID-19.
The current investigation will also look into the actions and measures of the port authority, police, ambulance, ship operator Carnival Australia, and NSW Health.
A total of 1040 crew members of the cruise ship is undergoing emergency extractions or medical assessment and corresponding treatments. The vessel will spend at least ten days docked on the coast of Sydney as the process gets underway.
Around 200 of the crew members in the Ruby Princess showed symptoms of the coronavirus disease, with two of them taken off the cruise ship for further medical treatment on Sunday.
According to a statement given by Mick Fuller, Police Commissioner, on Monday, they will continue with the cruise ship investigation. The authorities will ensure that they take the topmost level of security is available for the locals in NSW, he added.
As of Monday, the Ruby Princess is the only cruise ship remains docked in NSW coast.
Mr Fuller also stated that over 4,500 Australians from the 97 international flights are currently in quarantine inside their hotel rooms all over Sydney after they arrived at the airport.
Meanwhile, the first of the Sydney hotels to take in passengers from international flights will close on Wednesday, with more than 200 people on their way home.
Since March 17, the NSW police started imposing self-isolation regulations in the state. They also already issued over 98 infringement notices of the rules across NSW.
On the other hand, the death toll in the state due to COVID-19 pandemic continued to rise and is now at 19. It was after a resident in Dorothy Henderson Lodge in Sydney died because of the COVID-19.
The resident was a 90-year-old male, with his death marking the sixth among those who died from COVID-19 in the Macquarie Park aged care home, according to Baptist Care.
Ross Low, the chief executive of the place, expressed his deepest condolences. He said that he is deeply sorry to be sharing another distressing news.
On a statement on Monday, Mr Low said that he has been on the phone to talk to the family of the deceased this afternoon, and he grieves with the family’s loss. He noted that the aged care home exists because of their residents, their families and friends who love them.
Mr Loss added that the news of another death of their resident due to the spreading virus is nothing short of heartbreaking for him and the entire Dorothy Henderson Lodge.
With the recent death, NSW now recorded a total of 2,637 confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Meanwhile, the state recorded a drop in new confirmed virus cases on Monday, with only 57 added in the fortnight. However, the NSW Health says that the decline in new confirmed cases in the state is primarily because of the fewer tests done during the weekend.
As of Monday, there are already 40 patients in intensive care units, with 22 of them needing ventilators.
According to the state’s Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, the significant drop in new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday is welcoming news. However, she stated that those cases developed through community transmission is still a massive concern.
Dr Jeremy McAnulty of the NSW Health commented that the confirmed COVID-19 case figures in the past days are hopeful. He also said that the social distancing measures enforced by the state as well as the contact tracing seem working.
However, he noted on an interview on Monday that it is a bit too early to make a stable assumption. Dr McAnulty said that they still need to continue keeping a very close eye on the number of new cases.
He also added that with the drop in recorded cases over the weekend, mainly due to fewer tests administered, they are going to pick up with the number of testing done in communities. It is primarily the measure they are going to take in areas where there are proofs of local transmission, he said.
The latest figures on COVID-19 cases in the state includes 595 patients who acquired the disease through local transmission from a known contact. Meanwhile, 397 out of the total cases are infections acquired locally from unknown causes.
With the cases of local transmission of the coronavirus disease, testing will extend in areas where authorities saw evidence of such. It includes the suburbs in Sydney such as Manly, Dee Why, Waverley, and Woollahra. The testing will also pick up in Port Macquarie, South Nowra, Nowra, Lake Macquarie, and Broken Hill.
With a cluster in the backpacker’s community in Sydney developed previously, there is now a drive-through site set up in Bondi, which is run and administered by the St Vincent’s Hospital.
Meanwhile, new data published by the University of Sydney suggest that the peak on cases of COVID-19 in Australia will be next week.
According to Professor Mikhail Prokopenko, who led the research, the confirmed COBID-19 cases in the country could peak in the middle of April if 90% of Australians follow social distancing regulations.
The study further said that with the given variables, the country could control the spread of coronavirus disease by July. If all will comply with the set regulations all over the country, there will be a total of 8,000 to 10,000 Australians infected by COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.
As of Monday, 3:35 pm, there are already a total of 5,795 confirmed COVID-19 cases all over Australia.