Australian authorities are in the process of tracking down 2,647 people who disembarked from a Princess Cruises ship on Thursday after three former passengers and a crew member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
The Ruby Princess, which traveled between Sydney and New Zealand, had been considered “low risk” according to Kerry Chant, a health officer for the state of New South Wales.
NSW Minister of Health Brad Hazzard said all passengers who left the cruise liner were asked to spend 14 days in quarantine at home. However, authorities are still concerned "that those people came off the ship with no knowledge of Covid-19 actually being on the ship," Hazzard said.
As of Friday afternoon local time, NSW Health officials have emailed and sent text messages to all cruise passengers advising them of the confirmed cases onboard the ship and to "reinforce the importance of self-isolation and regular self-monitoring of symptoms."
A total of 1,050 crew members are onboard the ship, according to NSW Health. While the three infected passengers got off the ship, the crew member who contracted the virus is still onboard and in isolation.
The ship, which is now "somewhere between Sydney and Wollongong," according to Chant, has doctors and intensive care unit facilities on board. The current plan is to use the medical professionals and facilities onboard to treat the crew.