Two Tasmanian deaths, as report points to Ruby Princess.
Two women have died from the coronavirus in northwest Tasmania in 24 hours.
Premier Peter Gutwein confirmed an 86-year-old woman succumbed to the virus this morning at Mersey Community Hospital, where she was being cared for.
It follows the death, announced earlier today, of another 86-year-old woman at the hospital.
The tragedies come as an interim report, released today, found that the Ruby Princess was the root cause of the deadly outbreak in the state’s northwest.
Twelve of the island’s 13 COVID-19 deaths have been in the northwest and two-thirds of its overall 221 cases are linked to the cluster. The only death in the south of the state was also a Ruby Princess passenger who died in the Royal Hobart Hospital.
The outbreak forced authorities to close Burnie’s North West Regional Hospital and its private counterpart on April 13 and put 1200 workers in quarantine, after several tested positive.
The report traced the virus cluster to two elderly Ruby Princess passengers who were admitted in late March and later died.
Twenty-one of the nation’s virus deaths had already been linked to the liner after passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney in March before test results were returned.
But Premier Gutwein urged people not to blame the healthcare workers or cruise ship passengers.
“This is simply a case of people going about their lives, going about their jobs,” he said.
“This dreadful set of circumstances has ensued and has wreaked havoc and misery on so many people.”
“We’ll stop a second wave.”
Australia’s health authorities are confident the country can fight off a potential second wave of coronavirus when restrictions are eased.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged a national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders in mid-May as crucial to lifting some social and economic clamps.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says if outbreaks occur, Australia will have a detailed response to deal with the disease.
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