Coronavirus: investigation in Australia into the Ruby Princess, the cruise ship infected with the virus

Authorities are seeking to clarify the “total discrepancies” that allowed the ship, which was carrying thousands of passengers, including patients with Covid-19, to disembark in mid-March.

Australian police opened a criminal investigation on Sunday, 5April, after thousands of cruise ship passengers, including patients from the Covid-19, were allowed to disembark in mid-March. Ten of the passengers died as a result of the disembarkation.

The government had authorized the disembarkation in Sydney of 2,700 passengers from the cruise ship Ruby Princess, operated by Carnival Australia, despite a measure taken a few days earlier that prohibited cruise ships from landing in Australia. The passengers had then returned to their homes, scattered throughout Australia.

Mick Fuller, the New South Wales state police chief, said on Sunday that the operator, a subsidiary of US cruise giant Carnival, will be investigated because of “total discrepancies” between the information provided to the authorities and the measures laid down in the law.

“The key question that remains unanswered, and for which a criminal and forensic investigation will have to be conducted, is whether the Carnival crew has been transparent” about “the state of health of patients and crew in relation to Covid-19,” he explained. “The international permit to enter a port is based on the captain’s assurance to the authorities that the vessel is free of contagious disease,” the police official said.