Police in Australia have removed items from a cruise ship that arrived in Sydney last month carrying hundreds of passengers infected with the novel coronavirus.
Investigators wearing protective gear from head to toe boarded the Ruby Princess late Wednesday night at Port Kembla and confiscated the ship’s “black box,” which holds a digital record of its movements similar to those installed on passenger jets. The authorities also questioned all of the ship’s 1,040 crew members who have remained on board since it docked on March 19.
About 15 of the hundreds of infected passengers who disembarked the ship without undergoing health checks have died, making it the largest source of Australia’s 6,000 total COVID-19 infections and 51 deaths. About 200 crew members have shown symptoms of the virus, with 18 testing positive. The ship is expected to remain at Port Kembla for 10 days while the crew undergoes treatment.
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced 96 new cases of coronavirus infections on Thursday, the lowest number of new infections in more than three weeks.