The Prime Minister of the state of New South Wales in Australia launched an independent investigation today, Wednesday, on the reason why thousands of passengers were allowed to leave a cruise ship with suspected cases of coronavirus when it docked in Sydney.
Gladys Bergiclian said that the Special Investigation Commission will have "extraordinary powers" and will report within four months.
The cruise ship, Ruby Princess, owned by the British-American Carnival, docked at Sydney Harbor on March 8 after 11 days remained at sea.
The border and health authorities allowed about 2,700 passengers to leave the ship with only minimal checks, although about 12 passengers showed respiratory symptoms before disembarking.
According to the health authorities of New South Wales and the Australian Federal Health Authorities, more than one out of every 10 cases of coronaviruses in Australia was a passenger of the ship, and 19 of the 63 deaths of the virus in the country were these passengers.
The investigation will be led by Brett Walker, who is known to have led the successful appeal against Cardinal George Bell's conviction for child sexual assault charges, which led to his acquittal.
The state police and the coroner's office have also begun their own investigations, which will be conducted in parallel with the investigation launched by the head of the state government, but they will take much longer.
Bergerclean said in a statement that Walker would have "the special powers of a special commissioner to study all matters related to the cruise ship, including its departure and arrival, and the actions of all agencies and interested parties."
The Australian Capital Territory Department confirmed today, Wednesday, the death of a woman in the sixties, who was among the passengers of the ship, as a result of the Coronavirus, which is the 19th death among the ship's passengers.
The ship is currently anchored at Kampala Harbor, about 100 km north of Sydney.
State Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Wednesday that the ship could leave Australia by Sunday after authorities last week seized its black box and conducted interviews.
Of the approximately 1,000 crew members still on board, the results of the examination of at least 140 people were positive, while 12 other crew members were evacuated to New South Wales hospitals.
Over 6,400 Australians have been infected with the virus so far, while more than half have already recovered.
Berjeclian told reporters in Sydney that Walker would not receive direction from the government or bureaucrats.
She added that the failure to deal with the ship had already caused infections to appear in Australia.
The relevant authorities in the State of Australia decided on Wednesday to ban unnecessary internal gatherings of more than 100 people to limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
Whereas, Australia's Governor General, General David Hurley, issued a decision to declare a "Human Biosecurity Emergency" in Australia for a period of 3 months, which could be extended as part of a national plan to respond to the Corona virus epidemic in the country.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), according to this announcement, the Federal Minister of Health will be granted comprehensive powers that include restrictions on the movement of people and goods from one place to another, and may amount to preventing such movement if necessary, and the government can evacuate some areas Or put it under quarantine according to what you appreciate.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that he does not want the state of emergency to cause any sense of panic among citizens, stressing that these powers exist in the Biosecurity Law to be activated in exceptional times such as we are currently experiencing ..
Last Sunday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all arrivals to Australia were obliged to self-isolate for 14 days, as part of the government's plan to combat the outbreak of the Corona virus, and the Australian "Canberra Times" newspaper on its website quoted Morrison as saying, in a press conference, that it is not There are current plans to close schools, but this may be discussed in the cabinet next Friday..and docking in Australia will be banned for 30 days to curb the spread of the virus.