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'Inexcusable': Australian inquiry blasts officials over cruise ship that spread COVID

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'Inexcusable': Australian inquiry blasts officials over cruise ship that spread COVID

By Byron Kaye and Melanie Burton

 

2020-08-14T094017Z_1_LYNXNPEG7D0M0_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-AUSTRALIA-CRUISESHIP.JPG

A fishing boat sails past the Princess Cruises' Ruby Princess cruise ship as it docks in Manila Bay during the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Cavite city, Philippines, May 7, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez/Files

 

SYDNEY/MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Health officials in Australia's most populous state made "unjustifiable" and "inexcusable" mistakes which allowed cruise ship passengers with COVID-19 to disembark in central Sydney, an inquiry said on Friday.

 

The Carnival Corp-owned Ruby Princess was for a time Australia's biggest single source of infection, with more than 600 cases and over 20 deaths directly linked to those passengers.

 

Some 2,700 passengers, 120 of whom were feeling unwell, were allowed to leave the ship on March 19, helping spread the virus across the country and internationally.

 

New South Wales Health failed to ensure the ship knew of heightened screening for the virus or ensure that sick passengers were isolated in their cabins, a report by the inquiry concluded.

It also failed get quick test results for unwell passengers before they disembarked.

 

"The delay in obtaining test results for the swabs taken from the Ruby Princess on the morning of 19 March is inexcusable. Those swabs should have been tested immediately," the inquiry, led by high-profile lawyer Bret Walker, said in the report.

 

The "decision to assess the risk as 'low risk', meaning in effect 'do nothing', is as inexplicable as it is unjustifiable," it added.

 

NSW Health directed media inquiries to the state premier, Gladys Berejiklian, who said in a statement she would read the report over the weekend before responding.

 

The 315-page report did not make formal recommendations and stopped short of calling for government resignations.

 

Carnival Corp said the report confirmed that none of its employees misled Australian authorities, which was "of great importance to us because it goes to the integrity of our people".

 

"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," Jan Swartz, president of Carnival's Princess Cruises unit, said in a statement.

 

The Ruby Princess had completed a Sydney-New Zealand round trip. Around two thirds of the passengers were Australian.

 

YOUNGEST FATALITY

 

The report was published as neighbouring Victoria state, now home to Australia's biggest outbreak and which has put its capital under a hard lockdown, recorded 14 more deaths on Friday - one a man in his 20s, the country's youngest fatality so far.

 

The state logged 372 new cases, a jump of nearly 100 from the previous day which was the lowest in more than three weeks. But that is still far off the peak of 725 new cases seen on Aug. 5.

 

"We will see a levelling off of hospitalisations for community cases in the next couple of weeks and the same for deaths," Victoria Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton told a media briefing.

 

Australia's coronavirus tally stands at 22,739 infections and 375 deaths, most of them in Victoria. Other states have seen new case numbers in the low single digits or have had none. New South Wales reported just nine new cases on Friday.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-08-14
 

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Posted (edited)

but this was the biggest PETRI DISH in the world about corona, how many people on board, how many sick and how many actually DIED ?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess

 

Diamond Princess is a cruise ship registered in Britain, and owned and operated by Princess Cruises. During a cruise that began on 20 January 2020, positive cases of COVID-19 linked to the COVID-19 pandemic were confirmed on the ship in February 2020. Over 700 people out of 3,711 became infected (567 out of 2,666 passengers and 145 out of 1,045 crew), and 14 people, all of them passengers, died.

 

14 out of 3711

 

1 in 265 , right ?

 

or 0.0037735849 percent ?

Edited by Bender Rodriguez
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Posted (edited)
33 minutes ago, Bender Rodriguez said:

but this was the biggest PETRI DISH in the world about corona, how many people on board, how many sick and how many actually DIED ?

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_on_Diamond_Princess

 

Diamond Princess is a cruise ship registered in Britain, and owned and operated by Princess Cruises. During a cruise that began on 20 January 2020, positive cases of COVID-19 linked to the COVID-19 pandemic were confirmed on the ship in February 2020. Over 700 people out of 3,711 became infected (567 out of 2,666 passengers and 145 out of 1,045 crew), and 14 people, all of them passengers, died.

 

14 out of 3711

 

1 in 265 , right ?

 

or 0.0037735849 percent ?

No, 0.37725680409593104 percent

Edited by aussiebrian
Sent before I commented
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Carnival just wanted the problem passengers off their hands and let someone else deal with the problem. That said, both Carnival and Australian authorities are equally to blame.

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0.37725680409593104 only because the experiment was stopped in a short time frame don't forget! This is over a period of a week or two. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in an environment where every couple of weeks 1 in 265 died There is only 50 weeks in a year so if you kept this petri dish experiment going (and assuming no increase or decrease in infection rate which not going to happen) now your figures don't look so rosy, by the end of a year of this total would be 50 x 0.377% so 10-20% fatalities in a year in such an environment. Of course this is a wild guess and could be way of the mark in either direction but it isn't a static 0.377 which so many people seem to forget. The time period has to be taken into account too.

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I have never known a public servant to have anything even remotely resembling a brain.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, tyga said:

0.37725680409593104 only because the experiment was stopped in a short time frame don't forget! This is over a period of a week or two. Personally, I wouldn't want to be in an environment where every couple of weeks 1 in 265 died There is only 50 weeks in a year so if you kept this petri dish experiment going (and assuming no increase or decrease in infection rate which not going to happen) now your figures don't look so rosy, by the end of a year of this total would be 50 x 0.377% so 10-20% fatalities in a year in such an environment. Of course this is a wild guess and could be way of the mark in either direction but it isn't a static 0.377 which so many people seem to forget. The time period has to be taken into account too.

Actually they were on the ship for a long time. Cruise starts Jan 20, first case Feb 2, in Tokyo bay for 27days, and disembarked in Sydney March 19. Almost 2 months for the whole ordeal. That is why some use this example as the natural progression of covid in society since the vents mean that people cannot be truly isolated. Michael Levitt uses the Diamond Princess as the basis for all his statistical calculations on covid.

 

https://www.wired.com/story/diamond-princess-coronavirus-covid-19-tokyo-bay/

Edited by vermin on arrival

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, vermin on arrival said:

Actually they were on the ship for a long time. Cruise starts Jan 20, first case Feb 2, in Tokyo bay for 27days, and disembarked in Sydney March 19. Almost 2 months for the whole ordeal. That is why some use this example as the natural progression of covid in society since the ventilation system and close quarters meant that people cannot be truly isolated. Michael Levitt uses the Diamond Princess as the basis for all his statistical calculations on covid.

 

https://www.wired.com/story/diamond-princess-coronavirus-covid-19-tokyo-bay/

According to him and others, the people who were going to get infected got exposed and infected; it wasn't like it was going to go until everyone had a severe case of the virus.

Edited by vermin on arrival

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