Australian Prime Minister apologizes for the failure of cruise ships that caused the increase of coronavirus

On Monday, Australia’s New South Wales state government apologised for failing to stop people carrying the novel coronavirus from disembarking in March from a Sydney cruise ship, causing what was the worst outbreak in Australia at the time. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s apologies for the inadequate handling of the outbreak onboard the Ruby Princess by her government came as the number of deaths from a second wave of infection in the state of Victoria reached a record 25.

A public inquiry into the outbreak of the Ruby Princess concluded last week that NSW health officials made “inexcusable” errors in allowing about 2,700 passengers, 120 of whom felt unwell, to leave the Carnival Corp-owned ship on March 19. The inquiry found 914 infections, mainly among travelers, could be traced back to the Ruby Princess. The outbreak resulted in 22 fatalities.

Australia is in negotiations with producers of vaccines to secure supplies, health minister Greg Hunt said Sunday. He refused to comment on media reports that as early as the first half of next year, Canberra will enter an agreement with British drugmaker AstraZeneca to secure the vaccine for the University of Oxford.