SYDNEY, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The cruise ship MV Artania was allowed to dock at Fremantle in Western Australia on Friday after a second passenger was taken to the hospital with a life-threatening condition.
The ship, with about 800 passengers and 500 crew members on board, was asked to anchor offshore after seven passengers had tested positive for COVID-19. Health officials boarded the ship on Wednesday to test and assess passengers.
According to reports by ABC, the cruise ship operator, German-based Phoenix, had issued a statement saying specially chartered flights would take passengers from Perth to Frankfurt. Those who were not German permanent residents or nationals would need to have an onward journey from Frankfurt to their home country guaranteed. However, it still wasn't clear what would happen to the crew members and the seven passengers who remain on board.
Overnight, an additional 26 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Western Australia, bringing the state's total to 231. A man in his 70s, who was a cruise ship passenger, had passed away after testing positive. It is reported that 51 confirmed cases in Western Australia are cruise ship passengers.
At the same time, a further 41 coronavirus cases were linked to the cruise ship Ruby Princess in the state of New South Wales, bringing the total number of infected passengers in the state to 162. With the previous 26 interstate cases, the total number of infected on the Ruby Princess is close to 200.