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Ruby Princess coronavirus patient says ‘no mention’ made of on-board cases

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

A passenger from the Ruby Princess cruise ship who tested positive to coronavirus after disembarking said there was initially ‘no mention’ of any cases on board.

More than 130 passengers have tested positive to COVID-19 since 2,700 people were let off the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney on Thursday, March 19.

One of them, Greg Butler, spoke to 9News from the isolation ward in Tamworth Hospital.

There were no officials present when passengers disembarked, he revealed, to check for symptoms or otherwise enforce quarantine measures.

"There were no checks from border force or NSW Health," Mr Butler said. "They just let us off the boat, gave us a sheet of paper telling us about self-isolation, and then left us to get home any way we could."

READ MORE: Stay up to date with the rolling coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.

Mr Butler took the light rail from Circular Quay to Central Station, where he took a train to collect his car from Tuggerah station and drive home to Tamworth. He said he initially had no idea that anyone on board the cruise had tested positive to the virus – until receiving a message from NSW Health late Friday morning.

"There was no mention of anyone," he said.

Greg Butler

"I started getting headaches Friday morning, and aches and pains, so I went straight to the doctors and arranged for a test.

"We had a carpark consultation at the doctors and then went to the pathology and had some test done – I found out on Sunday morning that I had the virus."

The symptoms, he explained, have been "fairly mild".

"The headache was constant; it didn't want to go away. I was a little achy in the muscles and joints, and I had pins and needles on my skin."

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The Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19.

Mr Butler will remain in hospital for several more days, where doctors are watching his recovery and managing his fevers with Panadol.

READ MORE: Five things you can do for free at home if you're self-isolating

More than 100 of the passengers who tested positive after leaving the ship have been diagnosed in New South Wales while 34 have been diagnosed interstate.

One of those passengers, a woman in her 70s, became the eighth person to die from the disease in Australia.

READ MORE: Ruby Princess cruise passenger dies from coronavirus, as NSW COVID-19 cases leap

COVID-19: Stage Two restrictions and closures

At parliamentary question time on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said NSW health authorities allowed passengers to disembark.

"The chief health officer of NSW said this was a low risk," he said, according to AAP.

READ MORE: WA bus driver infected 'hundreds' with coronavirus

Labor leader Anthony Albanese said this was effectively blaming the NSW government.

"There's a pattern there of him blaming NSW and (Premier) Gladys Berejiklian's government," Mr Albanese told reporters in Canberra.

"The truth is that the federal government are responsible for the entry into Australia."

– Reported with AAP.

You can find more information about the international coronavirus outbreak from the World Health Organisation and

Source: 9News

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