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Australia orders two cruise ships to leave its waters!!

Australia ordered two cruise ships to leave the country’s western waters and said it would quarantine the passengers of a third as the country reports an uptick in cases of the novel coronavirus.

Although the pandemic has been relatively contained compared with most other countries, fears were augmented when 2,700 people on one cruise ship were allowed to disembark in Sydney Harbor last week.

The sick passengers caught trains, buses and overseas flights to get home, and 147 of them tested positive for the virus — making Carnival’s Ruby Princess cruise ship the largest single source of infection in Australia.

After seven passengers aboard a different ship, the MV Artania, tested positive for the virus while heading for the city of Perth, officials in the state of Western Australia barred passengers from disembarking on Wednesday. Exceptions would be made only for “life threatening” emergencies aboard the German-operated vessel, which remains off the coast of Perth.

“This ship needs to leave immediately,” the state’s leader, Mark McGowan, said Thursday. “We are not going to have a Sydney Harbour fiasco on our watch.”

Earlier this week, officials blocked a Swiss cruise ship from docking in Perth even though it had not reported any sick passengers. The MSC Magnifica was sailing out of Australian waters Thursday to an unspecified destination, Reuters reported.

A third ship may buck the trend. Although the British-run Vasco da Gama will be allowed to dock in Perth on Monday, none of the passengers will disembark onto the mainland. The 800 Australians aboard the will be quarantined on a former prison island, while more than 100 other passengers will stay in quarantine aboard the ship.

Australia has reported more than 2,800 cases of the virus, and leaders have shut down all bars, restaurants and movie theaters.

info: the Washington post


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