Taking precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks has been the top advice from medical professionals and national leaders during the COVID-19 outbreak. As of 23 July, the Australian Government Department of Health has reported just over 13,000 cases of the coronavirus – a fairly small amount by comparison to other countries.
The contrasting statistics may help Australians feel more comfortable and confident going about their everyday lives, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's time to let the guard down just yet. This is especially true for those who travelled at the beginning the pandemic; assessing past actions that took place at the start of the pandemic may explain the result of current cases.
In fact, hundreds of passengers aboard the Ruby Princess cruise ship are suing the Carnival Corporation over its neglect and mishandling of the coronavirus aboard the ship when they set sail in March 2020.
According to the Financial Times, 800 of the 2,700 passengers of the Ruby Princess filed the suit for compensation upon learning that 700 infections and 20 deaths occurred after passengers took the cruise. Passengers claim that Carnival Corporations broke Australian law for neglect, deception and misleading customers of guaranteed safety. By the end of the cruise, all passengers were allowed to leave, no questions asked, without having been tested.
In an effort to investigate the allegations, the New South Wales Government established a special commission of inquiry to get a better understanding of the "knowledge, decisions and actions of Ruby Princess crew, medical staff and the ship operator, Princess Cruises, with respect to cases or potential cases of respiratory infections on the ship."
The NSW Government is also assessing the communication that occurred between the Commonwealth of Australia and NSW agencies, including the Australian Border Force, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, NSW Health, the NSW Police Force, NSW Ambulance and the Port Authority of NSW.
A final report is set to be released 14 August.
Do you need to make a medical negligence claim involving your experience with COVID-19? Contact the professionals at Gerard Malouf & Partners. With over 35 years of experience, we can help you navigate the obstacles you may be experiencing during these difficult times. Contact us at 1 800 004 878 to book your free appointment or make an email enquiry today.