Dozens of passengers infected with the coronavirus were let into Sydney by NSW Health before they were even tested for the deadly virus in an extraordinary development of the catastrophic health bungle which left more than 100 people infected.
The revelations by ABF Commissioner Michael Outram outlined with great detail how NSW Health gave passengers on the cruise ship permission to disembark without conducting a single test.
Almost a week later one passenger has died from coronavirus and the infected passengers who were released have infected more than 100 people.
Mr Outram read out sections of the email from NSW dated March 18 which cleared the cruise ship for disembarking.
“NSW health (told the Ruby Princess) the ‘NSW health expert panel has assessed the Ruby Princess as not requiring onboard assessment in Sydney’,” he said.
“NSW health stated to the Ruby Princess, and I quote again, ‘You are free to disembark tomorrow however according the Australian government guidance all passengers must go into self-isolation for 14 days’.”
The revelations show that NSW Health cleared the passengers without heading on board and testing each passenger, a decision Mr Outram said would have stopped the passengers from entering Sydney.
“What broke down in this case was health officers, trained doctors or nurses didn’t get on board the vessel, swab passengers and take their swabs for results,” he said,
“Had that occurred in this case, what happened wouldn’t have happened.”