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  1. 'Everyone makes mistakes - the conclusion of the Ruby Princess Inquiry The article from Cruise Passenger, previously referred on this thread, makes a very interesting and balanced reading - it includes also the recommendation to save you time looking for them - worth to have a good look at. Note this quote - I haven't read about it before: "Princess Cruises was so convinced that they (i.e. pax) would be tested, they had booked hotel rooms expecting they would need to quarantined after disembarkation. Few were more surprised than the Princess executives when this did not eventuate. https://cruisepassenger.com.au/everyone-makes-mistakes-the-conclusions-of-the-ruby-princess-inquiry-into-28-deaths/
  2. Two points: Firstly, in general the ship doctors are very well qualified and experienced - a lot of them have more than the minimum 5 years post admission experience - and they must have either emergency medicine or related experience. Ruby Princess dr was well experienced and qualified as well. And for some reason (financial, adventure??) most on many cruise lines are from South Africa - which has a high standard of medical education, often recognised in Australia to practice, with minimum extra work. Secondly, yes - both the doctor but more importantly Princess/ Carnival (and Head Doctor Tarling) were not that well prepared for novel covid19 - and there was no up to date advice to the ships medical people about the frequently changed definition of covid suspect cases.
  3. For whatever it is worth, the headlines so far: How six hours could have prevented the tragedy of the Ruby Princess The Ruby Princess inquiry slammed NSW Health's "do nothing" decision to allow passengers to disembark without waiting six hours for the results of coronavirus tests. (From ABC news on line) 'As inexplicable as it is unjustifiable': Ruby Princess report slams NSW Health An inquiry into the Ruby Princess cruise ship identifies "serious", "inexcusable" and "inexplicable" mistakes by NSW Health. Hundreds of coronavirus cases and 28 deaths have been linked to the ship. (from ABC news on line) Ruby Princess inquiry finds NSW Health made 'serious' errors allowing cruise to disembark - Guardian Australia NSW Health made 'serious mistakes' with Ruby Princess, inquiry says (from smh.com.au) Data updated 6.01pm on Aug 13, 2020 LIVE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC - smh.com.au 'They didn't take our lives seriously': Ruby Princess passengers respond to report
  4. To re-focus the discussion, I have just read the above link - notice the statement by Princess in the article - quoted below - on balance Princess will feel quite happy and overall vindicated from this sorry episode: "After the report was released, Princess Cruises issued a statement welcoming the report and said the line “again expresses profound sorrow at the impact COVID-19 has had on Ruby Princess’s guests, crew and their families. Our hearts go out to everyone who has been affected, particularly those who lost loved ones.” The statement went on: “The Commission’s report confirms that none of our people — the Captain, the ship’s doctor, or members of our shore side port agency team — misled public authorities involved in Ruby Princess being permitted to disembark guests on March 19." “This finding is of great importance to us because it goes to the integrity of our people. In our more than 20 years in Australia, we have always sought to cooperate honestly and professionally with officials in accordance with the regulatory environment."
  5. Thank you Kiwi_cruiser - you are very fast!!! A lot comments about the the report will no doubt be made in due course on the related RUBY PRINCESS - THE VERDICT etc thread.
  6. Well, this was quick!!!! Thanks to the very much on-the ball Kiwi Cruiser, who posted this link 5 min ago on the related Ruby Princess - Special Inquiry - Evidence to date - thread Premier of NSW has just received the report into the Ruby Princess which can be accessed here: https://www.dpc.nsw.gov.au/publications/special-commissions-of-inquiry/the-special-commission-of-inquiry-into-the-ruby-princess/
  7. ONLY for those with some time & and sufficient interest: a well researched (from he Inquiry evidence), detailed, investigative reporting - but very LONG (8267 word) article from the The Monthly magazine - link: https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2020/august/1596204000/malcolm-knox/storm-port-unfolding-disaster-ruby-princess#mtr The articles summarises a lot of Inquiry threads & reads like mystery story - some of the issues will be familiar to you - also a lot of grey areas, as we know. 'Storm in a port: The unfolding disaster of the Ruby Princess - The system breakdowns onboard and onshore that led to the docking of the coronavirus cruise ship' A few interesting quotes: From the opening section: "For two hours either side of midnight on March 18, Cameron Butchart (duty harbourmaster) was the man who stopped the Ruby Princess from docking in Sydney. The subsequent hundreds of coronavirus cases and deaths, the transmission of disease from Tasmania to Texas, the finger-pointing between government agencies, the reputational damage to a multinational cruise ship company, the judicial and police investigations – all could have remained on the other side of a sliding door if Butchart’s decision stood". "Butchart was the duty harbourmaster, working at the end of a 17-hour day in which he had managed 27 incoming ships, a record number rushing back to beat the imminent closure of Australia’s ports" "Following a chain of logarithmically multiplying screw-ups, Butchart’s decision (that Ruby was a 'corona ship') was itself based on a misunderstanding – yet another erratum in a list of errata that would involve suspected hoaxes, police trying frantically to wake sleeping cruise company employees, and a tragicomic Keystone Kops sequence of mix-ups between state and Commonwealth agencies. Had it been allowed to stand, the Butchart “error” could have saved Australia from its biggest single source of coronavirus infection." From the concluding section: "At the centre of Australia’s response to the COVID outbreak was politicians’ surrender to the expertise of medical practitioners. By global standards, Australia’s had been a remarkable success. The Ruby Princess can be seen as an exception, but Professor Mark Ferson, the leader of the panel of doctors, maintained that he and his colleagues had been right not to exercise a more draconian quarantine and to reject (Drs) Leena Gupta’s and David Durrheim’s warnings. He wanted to protect the under-resourced NSW Health staff who were dealing with three other cruise ships that same day" "Much of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been based on a faith in the old saying that “doctor is right”. The Ruby Princess showed the limitations to this faith, when, amid a fast-changing public health crisis, there was a convergence of bad organisation, bad systems design, bad communication, a legacy of bureaucratic rigidity, and a set of guidelines that was, in Walker’s words, “doomed to inadequacy” – not to mention plain bad luck. His inquiry neither sought nor found a villain, nor indeed found that anyone had failed to follow the steps that had been laid out for them on the day. The operation was a success, as it were, and yet at least 21 patients lost their lives. This harrowing fact would exercise its own silent judgement". And a few other quotes: About division of responsibilities: "Formal admission to ships, or “pratique”, was granted by the federal department of agriculture. Pilotage was the remit of the port authority. Immigration fell to Australian Border Force. Passengers’ health was assessed by NSW Health based on information from the cruise ship companies. This alphabet soup of divided responsibilities evolved in a decade when the number of cruise passengers coming into Sydney annually rose from 40,000 to more than one million" The varied approach taken by Health NSW doctors "(Dr) McAnulty responded that the department was “trying to balance the very low risk with the very big problem if we have a case on a ship”. His words were prescient. The Ruby Princess would provide exactly that: a low risk, but a very big problem." "Throughout the process of forming the guidelines, (Prof) Ferson was the voice of compassion: humane, intelligent and considerate of the variables behind every decision. His approach accounted for the complexity of people’s needs. Fellow panel member (Dr) Leena Gupta pushed back, advocating a more conservative response. Three hours after McAnulty’s “very big problem” email, Gupta replied with a list of cautious measures, including “strongly recommend[ing]” that no disembarkation take place until results of COVID swabs taken on board had been confirmed onshore" "If much of the commentary after the Ruby Princess incident was an exercise in wisdom after the event, (Drs) Gupta and Durrheim were the exceptions: they saw the disaster before it happened. But their views were set to one side. Neither Tobin, Ferson nor McAnulty could recall any discussion about Gupta’s Cassandra-like warnings. " And this about the dilemma of the ship Doctor: "After the five negative COVID-19 tests in Wellington and 24 positive flu tests on board, von Watzdorf thought she was dealing with an influenza A outbreak. It was not known whether a patient could have both flu and coronavirus, but von Watzdorf noticed that patients were getting better after taking oseltamivir, a medication used for flu".
  8. A short background: A few very technical points about the constitutional law have been included in the detailed correspondence between Government Solicitor (Commonwealth) and the Special Inquiry - recently uploaded on the site. In essence the Commissioner believed that under its act, the state Inquiry had the power to compel the attendance of a Commonwealth officer - the Govt Solicitor advanced arguments to the contrary. There was a talk of going to the High Court to clarify the issue - but the Commissioner finally decided that the Aust Border Force witness was not that vital in the scheme of things, and this matter was not legally tested. But Commonwealth provided a wealth of material to the Inquiry - including answering detailed questions from the Commissioner in its supplementary statement - and always called its submissions a 'Voluntary Statement' . Incidentally, the Inquiry found these statements/ explanation very helpful and the Commissioner formally acknowledged this.
  9. The usual political reaction expected from the opposition?? A very short report from Aust Ass Press (AAP), just in, and quoted in the GuardianAustralia "NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay is calling on Premier Gladys Berejiklian to release the report to the public as soon as she receives it. She also urged the Berejiklian government to implement every recommendation in full and called on the premier to apologise to the families impacted by the debacle. “The premier just needs to admit the government was deficient in some aspects,” Ms McKay told reporters in Sydney on Friday. “I do hope that out of today we see responsibility and accountability allocated where they should be and we ensure this never happens again.”
  10. Well - if this is correct, it would be most welcome - and rather unusual and 'courageous' decision by NSW Govt.
  11. I just re-read the whole article in my post NO 19 above - very interesting and recommended reading - to get a bigger picture. Great concern by airlines etc, who felt helpless not being able to do much about it - the article tells you why.
  12. And the 'exclusive' ABC story from their website - with a few quotes: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-14/border-force-ruby-princess-qantas-virgin-manifest-coronavirus/12550558 Qantas and Virgin knew the Ruby Princess was a coronavirus time bomb but were powerless to stop it "When TV networks beamed vision of passengers disembarking the Ruby Princess on the morning of March 19, airline executives were horrified. " "But airlines were not wanting to take any chances. They had seen the Diamond Princess disaster unfold in Japan — an incident that saw more than 700 of the 3,711 people on board infected and 14 die from the virus". "Qantas and Virgin Australia officials independently reached the same conclusion: the passengers had to be stopped before they boarded planes. Easier said than done. Identifying Ruby passengers was not that simple".
  13. Just in - and 3 quotes: "Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has said there will be "many lessons" learned when the findings of the Ruby Princess inquiry are handed down today. The ABC has reported this morning that Qantas and Virgin tried to get Ruby Princess passenger lists from Border Force and the federal Department of Health before letting people who had been on the ship onto their domestic flights, but were denied them due to privacy reasons" "Clearly there will be many lessons learned out of this inquiry with the Ruby Princess. Those lessons, no doubt, will extend to the types of communication in future that is necessary for any type of analogous circumstance situation." Link: https://www.theage.com.au/national/coronavirus-live-updates-victoria-seeks-lower-deaths-new-covid-19-cases-nsw-still-facing-ongoing-cases-new-zealand-cluster-grows-to-13-20200813-p55llt.html
  14. An excellent point, thank you - I forgot for a minute about the high proportion of US pax.
  15. And the good fortune was that most of the 'mature' and 'responsible' people on that cruise did exactly that, after returning home. Situation might have been different in the degree of compliance by a much younger demographics returning, for example, from a 3 nights cruise to nowhere.
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