Australian authorities are demanding a German cruise ship leave Australian waters after it received confirmation that seven of its passengers are positive for COVID-19.
Artania, which is currently anchored off the west of Perth, is carrying 800 guests and 500 crew members. It had initially reported 25 people with flu-like symptoms. After review by health officials, it was confirmed five passengers and two crew staff are ill with COVID-19, DW reported.
Mark McGowan, the state premier of Western Australia made his message clear that the cruise ship “needs to leave immediately” in worries that it might infect more Australians and add to the already growing number of Australia’s coronavirus cases.
“Its home port is actually Germany … This ship needs to leave immediately. I want the Commonwealth to make that happen,” McGowan said.
The country is taking strict precautionary measures with arriving cruise ships after one liner, the Ruby Princess, disembarked in the country with minimal health screening. Of the 2,700 that entered Sydney, 130 were later tested positive for COVID-19. One passenger has since died.
Because of this, another cruise line, the MSC Magnifica, has been refused entry to Perth ealier this week.
According to Worldometer, as of March 26 9:00 GMT, there are 2,799 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia — up 123 cases since Wednesday. There are also 13 deaths recorded.
There are 473,266 confirmed cases of the virus across the world, with a COVID-19 global death toll of 21,344.
On March 19, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the country’s borders will be closed pff to all visitors. Only citizens and permanent residents and their families will be allowed to enter Australia. This is aimed at curb the spread of COVID-19.
“We are upgrading the travel ban on Australians to level four for the entire world. That is the first time that has ever happened in Australia’s history,” Morrison said.
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