Police said on Sunday that they had begun investigating the handling of passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise ship last month.
Four men aged over 60 have died of coronavirus in NSW in the past 24 hours, with three believed to have been passengers on the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship. But a chain of emails, obtained by 9News, showed the department knew about the risk of coronavirus aboard the cruise, which has become Australia's COVID-19 epicentre.
The problem, of course, is that under the current system NSW Ports needs to rely on information provided to it by the ships entering Australian waters.
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People who require treatment in hospital will be taken off the ship, but no-one else will be allowed on to Australian soil.
Sick crew members were being treated on board or transferred to hospital, police said, and the vessel will be refuelled in preparation for departure.
Port Kembla is an industrial suburb in Wollongong, about 100km south of Sydney, in NSW's Illawarra region. There would be the "highest level of security for the locals down in southern NSW".
Since completing its journey in Sydney on March 19 there have been 342 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Australia among the 2647 passengers and 1100 crew on the journey.
To date, more than 620 passengers on-board have tested positive for Covi19-19.
The investigation will cover the actions of the port authority, ambulance, police, the NSW Health deportment and Carnival Australia. Rules, which it did not provide clear direction or clarification of, for those passengers who came off the Ruby Princess.
It was too early to tell if a crime had been committed, Comm Fuller said.
The ship has docked to allow medical staff to board and assess and treat ill crew members.
New Zealand's Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said on Monday that the rate of increase in Covid-19 cases was "levelling off".
As a popular Pacific port destination, Australia is among numerous countries around the world negotiating arrangements with cruise ships unable to find somewhere to dock.
Fuller said the government had taken the decision to dock the Ruby Princess because of the regular supplies that need to go to the ship and because transfers at sea were a complex and risky task. Speaking on Fox News on Sunday, U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said the coming week is going to be the "hardest and the saddest" in "most Americans' lives".
Over the weekend, NSW Police sent five cruise ships out of NSW waters in "the largest maritime operation" in the state's history.
The Spectrum of the Seas and Radiance of the Seas departed on Saturday afternoon.