Crew on the Ruby Princess (IMO 9378462), which remains anchored at Port Kembla south of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, are being tested for coronavirus. By yesterday, 128 had tested positive and a further 11 have already been evacuated from the ship. About 800 crewmembers have yet to be tested. Increased infection control measures have been implemented on the ship.
A criminal investigation is now underway to determine who was responsible for allowing the 2,647 passengers to disembark in Sydney on March 19th without quarantine.
The Ruby Princess cruise to New Zealand left Sydney on March 8th and returned to Sydney and docked on March 18th.
The Ruby Princess has been linked to more than 600 Covid-19 cases and 18 deaths Australia-wide. The incident will now also be the subject of a special commission of inquiry, as well as the criminal investigation. The inquiry is expected to report back to the NSW Premier in three to four months.
The Australian reported that Aspen Medical, the independent contractor appointed by the federal government to manage the quarantined ship, had allowed food to be prepared on the ship until Saturday April 11th. The NSW Police Commissioner indicated that food prepared onboard was potentially the source of the outbreak on the ship, and since then pre-packaged meals have been served.
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.