Ruby Princess passenger, 70, dies from COVID-19


The coronavirus death toll in Australia has risen to eight.

A female passenger in her 70s who was rushed to hospital from the Ruby Princess cruise ship after it docked in Sydney last week died in hospital this morning, NSW Health says.

She is the seventh person to die in NSW.

She was one of three initial passengers who tested positive after nearly 2700 were allowed to disembark the ship.

NSW Health says 133 people who were on board the Ruby Princess have now tested positive for COVID-19.

Of those, 107 are in NSW and 26 are interstate.

“It should be noted, no cases of COVID-19 had been identified by doctors on board before docking,” NSW Health said.

“Five people who had displayed influenza-like illness were tested in Wellington, New Zealand on March 14, and all were negative for COVID-19.”

There are currently 12 coronavirus cases in intensive care units, eight of whom require ventilators.

Also detailed in the new cases today are a large number of people who were allowed to disembark from other cruise ships.

There are 13 cases in NSW linked to the Ovation of the Seas which docked in Sydney on March 18, and seven cases who were on board the cruise Voyager of the Seas which disembarked on March 18.

Other cases include two teachers at Normanhurst West Public School in Thornleigh, who were confirmed on March 21 and March 23.

Close contacts at the school have been identified and are being contacted placed in self-isolation. The school will remain closed today.

There have also been three more positive cases at the hard-hit Dorothy Henderson Lodge, bringing to a total of 11 residents and five staff testing positive for COVID-19.

Regarding the University of Sydney rugby match on March 14, another person has tested positive. They live in the ACT, where authorities are following up.

More to come.



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