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Cruise ship docks amid concern of passenger sickness

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The cruise ship MSC Magnifica has docked in Fremantle, Western Australia in a short stop to refuel.

The cruise ship MSC Magnifica has docked in Fremantle, Western Australia in a short stop to refuel.

No passengers or crew have been allowed off the ship with West Australian police and Australian Border Force officers on alert to make sure no-one leaves the vessel.

Premier Mark McGowan says no one will be allowed ashore when the vessel docks to refuel following its arrival about at 5am today (WA time), amid fears at least 250 of more than 1700 passengers are suffering upper respiratory illness.But ship Operator MSC denies any crew or passengers on the ship, which departed Italy in January and is on its way to Dubai, have respiratory or flu-like illnesses.

"There is no evidence to suggest anyone onboard may be infected with COVID-19," the company said.

Passengers aboard the MSC Magnifica cruise ship are seen while docked alongside the Golden Princess cruise ship (left) at Station Pier in Melbourne, Thursday, March 19, 2020.

Mr McGowan has confirmed both police and border guards will monitor the Magnifica to make sure no one tries to disembark.

The government claims the vessel has given inconsistent reports about the health of its passengers.

The slow-moving ship was just west of Rottnest Island around 3am and was on track to swing southeast before heading to Fremantle Port.

Meanwhile, WA will clamp down on all interstate road, rail and port traffic and order all interstate arrivals to isolate for 14 days from 1.30pm today.

Yesterday, Health Minister Roger Cook said the state had 20 new coronavirus cases, bringing WA's total to 140. Two people are in hospital in a critical condition.

Mr McGowan said parents can keep their children home from school but they must not roam shops and beaches. Schools will remain open until the end of term with the state to provide tools to allow students to continue learning.

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Education Minister Sue Ellery said it was "too early to call" any changes to ATAR exams, but plans were in place to ensure Year 12 students are not disadvantaged.

What is social distancing?

 Social distancing involved minimising contact with people and maintaining a distance of over one metre between you and others.

When practicing social distancing, you should avoid public transport, limit non-essential travel, work from home and skip large gatherings.

It is okay to go outdoors. However, when you do leave home, avoid touching your face and frequently wash your hands.

Coronavirus: Flattening the curve explained

Do young and healthy have to practice social distancing?

Yes. While older people are at higher risk of contracting COVID-19, young people are not immune. People that show mild or no symptoms may still pass the virus to others, particularly in the early stages of the infection, before many patients realise that they are sick.

- Reported with AAP

Source: 9News

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