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Crew members evacuated from coronavirus-infested Ruby Princess cruise ship off Sydney

Crew members on the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship stranded off the coast of Australia have been rescued in a painstaking overnight medical evacuation.

The employees, who have been rushed to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, are all suffering from the virus – with one said to be in a critical condition.  

The ‘several’ affected crew members were brought ashore in the hours-long operation by a police vessel at Botany Bay, in Sydney’s south, on Sunday night.

Crew members on-board the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship, who are believed to have COVID-19, have been brought to shore in an hours-long overnight rescue operation

Crew members on-board the coronavirus-stricken Ruby Princess cruise ship, who are believed to have COVID-19, have been brought to shore in an hours-long overnight rescue operation

The employees have been rushed to Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital - with one of them believed to be in a critical condition

The employees have been rushed to Sydney’s Royal Prince Alfred Hospital – with one of them believed to be in a critical condition

The 'several' affected crew members were brought ashore in the hours-long operation by a police vessel at Botany Bay south of Sydney on Sunday night

The ‘several’ affected crew members were brought ashore in the hours-long operation by a police vessel at Botany Bay south of Sydney on Sunday night

It comes after the ship docked in Sydney Harbour on March 19 and more than 100 infected travellers were allowed to disembark the ship without any checks – potentially exposing thousands.

It was one of four ships to dock in Sydney in the space of a week with infected passengers aboard, with authorities fearing the thousands who disembarked may have contributed to a spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Australia. 

The cruise ship has been floating off Australia’s east coast since docking in Sydney.

On Sunday, a 75-year-old passenger died in Caboolture Hospital in Queensland on Sunday, 10 days after she stepped off the boat.  

There are nearly 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in Australia. The country recorded its biggest daily rise on Saturday of 460 cases, and 370 and 378 the two days before.

Cruise ship arrivals have been connected to at least 496 coronavirus cases in Australia.

On Sunday it emerged Australians will soon be fined for breaking tough new coronavirus rules that limit public gatherings to two people which come into effect on Monday. 

 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday announced the two-person rule, while urging those over 70 to stay at home and ordering the closure of playgrounds, skate parks and outdoor gyms

Victorians who are caught outside with more than one other person will be slapped with a $1,652 on the spot fine from Tuesday. 

New South Wales is expected to follow suit and has warned punishments for flouting the new measures would most likely be in line with previous restrictions, which have been enforced under the Public Health Act.

The ship docked in Sydney Harbour (pictured at Circular Quay on March 19) and more than 100 infected travellers were allowed to disembark the ship without any checks

The ship docked in Sydney Harbour (pictured at Circular Quay on March 19) and more than 100 infected travellers were allowed to disembark the ship without any checks

Breaches of the Act currently carry $11,000 fines, six months in jail or a $1,000 on-the-spot police fine. 

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Sunday night confirmed the state would enforce the new rules around social distancing.

‘Following national cabinet, NSW will move quickly to enforce additional restrictions on gatherings to slow COVID-19,’ the Premier tweeted on Sunday night. 

Mr Morrison said the states ‘aren’t mucking around’ when it comes to enforcing the new rules.  

Tough new coronavirus restrictions explained  

Only two people should gather in public spaces and ‘other areas of gathering: Households – no matter how large – can still go outside together, but individual people can only meet with one other person. The two-person limit doesn’t apply to workplaces, schools or households. 

Moratorium on evictions from rental properties for the next six months: Scott Morrison said State and Territories will be moving to ban landlords from evicting tenants who are struggling to pay rent. Mr Morrison urged landlords to work with their tenants and banks on immediate solutions. 

Playgrounds, skate parks, and outdoor gyms will be closed from Monday: Boot camps will be reduced to one-on-one outdoor personal training sessions. 

Australians urged to only shop for the essentials and nothing more: Mr Morrison reminded people it isn’t a time for browsing or catching up with friends. ‘When you are going out for shopping, you should be going for just stuff you need and do it and get home,’ he said. 

People aged over 70 or having chronic illnesses are discouraged from leaving their homes: Mr Morrison said elderly people should only go outside for doctor’s appointments or medical reasons. He said vulnerable groups who need help with shopping should access ‘support through their community or others’.

WHAT CAN I LEAVE MY HOUSE FOR? 

Buying essential supplies: Scott Morrison said shopping should be done solo and not turned into impromptu gatherings.

Going to work, if unable to work from home: Australians who have the ability to work from home are strongly advised to do so. Those who can’t must follow social distancing measures when at their place of work. 

Exercise: People working out should still follow the two-person limit. All boot camps of 10 people or less have effectively been banned. 

To attend personal medical appointments, or for compassionate reasons: Elderly people in particular should only go outside for doctor’s appointments or medical reasons.

CAN I VISIT FAMILY MEMBERS?

Yes, however social distancing measures should still be adhered to. 

A family split across two houses can meet in private, allowing people to visit their partner, siblings or parents.

People who live can only invite one friend over, while households of two people or more can’t have any visitors. 

WHAT ABOUT HOUSEHOLDS WITH MORE THAN TWO PEOPLE?

Households – no matter how large – can still go outside together, but individual people can only meet with one other person.

If four people live together in a house, all four of them can take their dog for a walk.  

The two-person limit doesn’t apply to workplaces, schools or households.

CAN OLDER PEOPLE GO OUT IN PUBLIC?

Elderly people are allowed to go outside for the same reasons as young people, but Scott Morrison has urged those over the age of 70 to self-isolate unless going to a medical appointment. 

‘This does not mean they cannot go outside,’ Mr Morrison said on Sunday. 

‘They can go outside and be accompanied by a support person for the purposes of getting fresh air and recreation, but should limit contact with others as much as possible.’

CAN I GO TO A WEDDING OR A FUNERAL?

Last week’s rules pertaining to weddings and funerals haven’t changed. 

Funerals are still limited to 10 people and weddings to five – including the officiator and the bride and groom.

WHEN DO THE NEW MEASURES COME INTO EFFECT?  

The two-person rule will begin on Monday, while playgrounds, outdoor gyms and skate parks will be closed at midday.  

‘They’re very, very serious. And states like New South Wales and Victoria will move further down onto those two person rules, is my understanding,’ he said.

‘But states and territories will make their own announcements about those issues.’

The two-person limit doesn’t apply to workplaces, offices, schools and households. 

It applies to all indoor settings, including private properties and homes.

Scott Morrison urged those over 70 or with chronic illnesses to stay home, and said state and territory governments are moving to ban landlords from evicting tenants

Scott Morrison urged those over 70 or with chronic illnesses to stay home, and said state and territory governments are moving to ban landlords from evicting tenants

People who live alone can only invite one friend over, while households of two people or more can’t have any visitors.

A family split across two houses can meet in private, allowing people to visit their partner, siblings or parents. 

CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 3,984

New South Wales: 1,791

Victoria: 769

Queensland: 656

South Australia: 299

Western Australia: 311

Australian Capital Territory: 77

Tasmania: 66

Northern Territory: 15

TOTAL CASES:  3,984

RECOVERED: 242

DEAD: 16

The prime minister urged all Australians to only leave their homes to buy essential supplies, to exercise, to attend personal medical appointments and to go to work or school – if unable to work or obtain an education from home.

‘Every single Australian needs to take this seriously or community transmission could get out of control and we could have a situation as terrible as even they are seeing in the US at the moment,’ he said.   

Mr Morrison also strongly advised that anyone over 70 stay home for their own safety, except for going for a daily walk in the fresh air.

‘States and territories will term whether they proceed to make this an enforceable limit in the same way that the 10-person limit is already been enforced,’ he said.  

Mr Morrison made it clear the advice about gatherings of more than two people was for all circumstances, not just for social occasions in homes.

‘That provides, importantly, for those who may be getting daily exercise, particularly for women, that they wouldn’t be required to walk on their own and they be able to be walk with another person,’ he said.

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Written by Angle News

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