A report commissioned by the New South Wales government has criticized Australian health authorities for their handling of the Ruby Princess Covid-19 outbreak. The report cited a number of missteps including passengers being allowed to disembark and travel across the country without quarantining.
Subsequently more than 600 people contracted Covid-19, which became the largest source of the virus in Australia at the time.
Health authorities wrongly classed the outbreak as “low risk” which the report condemned as, “a serious failure by NSW Health.”
Commissioner Bret Walker called it a “sorry episode” and the delay in getting test results from swab tests of passengers “inexcusable.”
Many passengers had been allowed to disembark before test results were received.
The report said one crew member had sent a text to Carnival Australia’s guest experience senior vice president Peter Little with the message, “Ruby numbers gone berserk,” referring to the rising number of infections.
Princess Cruises claims it has been exonerated with no fault attributed to its crew or management.
Jan Swartz, president of Princess Cruises said in a statement, “In our more than 20 years in Australia, we have always sought to cooperate honestly and professionally with officials in accordance with the regulatory environment.”
Source: Travel Industry Today
POINTING A FINGER: Report condemns Australian health officials over Ruby Princess fiasco