Four on board Ruby Princess test positive for coronavirus

Four people on board cruise ship Ruby Princess (IMO 9378462), three passengers and one crew member, have tested positive to coronavirus, according to the New South Wales Ministry of Health, Australia.

Princess Cruise Line said that “all four had reported flu-like symptoms during the cruise and, along with their stateroom occupants, were in isolation on board the ship, minimizing contact with other guests and crew. We have assisted NSW Health to make contact with all guests who arrived in Sydney yesterday”.

The Ruby Princess cruise to New Zealand left Sydney on March 8th and returned to Sydney and docked on March 18th. There were 2,647 passengers on board who disembarked in Sydney. All were advised to self-isolate at home or in their accommodation for a period of 14 days as part of the management of returned travellers, in accordance with the Public Health Order for quarantine that is in place in New South Wales.

The three passengers are receiving medical attention onshore, while the crew member is in isolation on board the vessel.

Quarantine of other crew on board is underway in consultation with the on board medical team, the health ministry said.

Of the 1148 crew, 98 disembarked the ship and left NSW for their home countries. The rest of the crew remain in isolation on board the ship, which is currently offshore.

“NSW Health officials have emailed and sent text messages to all cruise passengers today to advise of the confirmed cases on board and to reinforce the importance of self-isolation and regular self-monitoring for symptoms. Phone calls are also being made to all passengers,” the health ministry said. “NSW Health has notified other (Australian) states and territories and the National Incident Room of this situation.”

Nearly two-thirds of the passengers were Australian residents, while a fifth were residents of the US.

Meanwhile, the Coral Princess (IMO 9229659) was required to depart the port of Buenos Aires late on March 19th before all guests were allowed to disembark, to comply with a decree issued by the President of Argentine, Alberto Fernandez.

“The decree would require the ship to remain in port for an indeterminate number of days, and no guests would have been permitted to disembark during that time. Therefore, the decision was made to leave port immediately,” Princess Cruises said.

Coral Princess set sail for Montevideo, Uruguay, where it was scheduled to take on supplies and fuel on March 20th. Princess Cruises said that it was exploring all options for the disembarking of passengers.

2008-built, Bermuda-flagged, 113,561 gt Ruby Princess is owned by Princess Cruise Lines of Valencia, California, USA. It is entered with Steamship Mutual and with UK Club.

2002-built, Bermuda-flagged, 91,627 gt Coral Princess has the same ownership, management and insurance information as for Ruby Princess.