Australia Tracks Coronavirus Contagion to Princess Cruise Ship

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Posted: April 29, 2020

The island of Tasmania off Australia's southern coast is experiencing a coronavirus outbreak. Until recently authorities had been investigating the source of the contagion which spread through the country. Now, researchers are blaming the contagion on a visit from a cruise ship.

Reuters.com reports that Australia has managed to keep its coronavirus outbreak to just 6,700 total cases. For a country of 25.7 million people, this represents a relatively low level of contagion. Officials implemented strict measures to combat the spread of the virus, including massive testing and social distancing measures.

But despite the country's successes, there have been some troubling outbreaks, including one in Tasmania which resulted in the highest per capital coronavirus-related death rate in the country. Tasmania has a population of more than 500,000 and has seen 12 deaths from coronavirus. 10 of the 12 have been linked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship which docked at the Sydney On March 19 with several sick passengers aboard.

Though officials are not sure exactly how many Ruby Princess passengers had contracted coronavirus, the Reuters report indicates that hundreds of them tested positive for coronavirus after arriving home. Premier Peter Gutwein said that he believes that the Ruby Princess is the root of Australia's coronavirus related problems. 

Due to the apparent success of the country's anti-coronavirus measures, Australia has begun to ease its restrictions, including opening public spaces.