A passenger on the Ruby Princess has stated a health care provider on the ship took a swab from him and informed him “you don’t have coronavirus”, regardless of the ship having no coronavirus testing capability on board.
Paul Reid, an asthmatic man who later examined constructive for Covid-19, informed the New South Wales particular inquiry into the cruise ship that he had gone to the ship’s medical centre through the journey with a sore throat and a fever.
He informed the inquiry male physician had taken a swab from his nostril and throat, put the swab “in a combination”, then “got here again 5 minutes later and informed me, ‘You don’t have coronavirus, you may have the widespread chilly.’”
Reid stated he had been given the impression this meant he had been examined and “cleared of coronavirus”, and he informed different passengers, household and associates that he had examined unfavorable.
The ship’s data present that Reid was not examined for coronavirus however slightly for influenza A and B. He was unfavorable for each. Earlier the inquiry heard that the ship’s medical doctors had coronavirus swab kits however didn’t have the lab gear to course of the swabs and get outcomes till they reached land.
On Monday the inquiry heard from one other passenger, Josephine Roope, who stated doctors had told her that her travelling companion, Lesley Bacon, “only [had] the flu”, though she had examined unfavorable for influenza.
Bacon was taken off the ship in an ambulance on 19 March, was later identified with Covid-19 and died.
On Tuesday, one other passenger, Ann Kavanagh, stated a waitress on the ship had sneezed in her face days earlier than she grew to become sick.
She stated she “didn’t affiliate something with it” however had begun feeling sick whereas on her flight house to Perth, and was shivering on the airplane.
Kavanagh later examined constructive for coronavirus and was put in an induced coma for eight days.
Reid informed the inquiry he hadn’t been requested to self-isolate, and he had continued to go to the ship’s buffet, although at a later time to keep away from crowds.
When he arrived in Sydney on 19 March, he took an Uber house. “I informed the Uber driver I had been examined and was candy, so she had nothing to fret about,” he stated. He later developed additional signs and examined constructive.
Kavanagh, who stated she had taken 14 earlier cruises, additionally stated the disembarkation had been accomplished so shortly that it was unprecedented.
“We hadn’t identified something prefer it,” she stated. “We acquired off the ship so shortly. There was no queuing, no passport management, nothing, we simply acquired in a taxi, acquired to the airport … very fast.”
Reid and one other passenger, Kristy McMahon, additionally informed the inquiry that they tried to cancel their journeys and acquire refunds earlier than it started on eight March, after seeing outbreaks of Covid-19 on different cruise ships on the information.
McMahon stated she had been informed that refunds would solely be accessible for cruises starting on 9 March, and that discover needed to be given three days earlier than the cruise started.
She had then acquired a second electronic mail that stated cruises ranging from 6 March could possibly be refunded however there was not sufficient time to provide three days’ discover.
“We thought it will be a bit bizarre that they reviewed the date however it nonetheless stated three days prior,” she stated.
She informed the commissioner, Bret Walker SC, that if there had not been that three-day discover interval she would have cancelled the cruise.
“I might have seen that as an indication that maybe it was a good suggestion to cancel the cruise, in the event that they had been providing that,” she stated.