Disasters • 47m
Cruise ships gave coronavirus a free ride around the world this Spring. While infected passengers think the Ruby Princess should be sailed out to sea and sunk, its owner company is busy marketing post-Covid cruises. Far from protecting people, the release of the ship’s passengers onto Australian shores triggered a public health emergency with the Ruby Princess now named as the single largest source of Australia’s coronavirus infections. Tracey Temple, a passenger with underlying health conditions, is adamant that Princess Cruises forewent their duty of care. “As far as I’m concerned, they never put our safety first”. Pleas for information were met with reassurance from staff that “this ship is virus free”. The cruise liner was ultimately called back to Sydney, but not before the virus had spread unchecked among the passengers, and unchallenged by social distancing measures. Unaware of the public health disaster they were carrying, the passengers then dissipated not only across Australia, but the world. “We thought we were going into the problem; we didn’t realise we were the problem,” says another passenger. 850 passengers and crew from the ship contracted the virus,and at least 26 died.
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