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Ruby Princess - a media article worth reading

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42 minutes ago, The_Big_M said:

 

The jury's out on that.


It all goes back to people. People spread to other people, people touch surfaces.  Jury done and dusted. 

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4 hours ago, Pushka said:


It all goes back to people. People spread to other people, people touch surfaces.  Jury done and dusted. 

 

Yeah, but if the people are long gone, and it's still on the surface, it's relevant to include surface cleaning as a priority. Whereas if you're only concerned about people, your sanitation procedures are different.

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On 5/4/2020 at 8:26 AM, christodan said:

 Which is why NSW Health deemed the ship safe. If a health department got it wrong why would you expect a cruise company to get it right?

And It's naive to think that a call centre operator is going to know the ins and outs of a new virus  (in which knowledge about it was changing on a daily basis) as well as  the origin of the passengers (as OZkiwiJJ said).

As the saying goes "when in doubt, don't".

 

Personally, I would have still gone, but I would not have blamed anyone but myself if I caught the virus, because no one's holding a gun to your head. It was only a holiday not some important journey anyone had to take.

I agree with your comments.👍

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On 5/4/2020 at 8:46 AM, Pushka said:


Did Princess advise anyone (eg NSW Health) that their passenger mix comprised of so many international passengers and who were about to board? They certainly didn't advise the rest of the passengers that this was the case and the fact they stated that the cruise was "safe because it only went to Australia and NZ" rather confirms they knew that other countries, and therefore the citizens of those countries, represented a risk. 

These international passengers on the Ruby were cleared to enter the country by our government agencies, not Princess. Before they boarded the ship, they filled out a form stating they hadn't been to mainland China, Hong Kong etc. etc. and had not been in contact with anyone who had Coronavirus. Even seeing this form is a warning that Princess considered the virus to be a risk. At the time, Australia had no restrictions on people entering from USA, UK or Europe. Why should Princess advise anyone (the authorities or other passengers) that that had passengers from these countries?

 

NSW Health would have access to the full passenger list with details of their nationality. As for advising the rest of the passengers, this information would never be sent out to passengers before a cruise or even given as a reply to a question to a call centre operator who wouldn't know. Usually during the cruise, the Cruise Director will announce the numbers of passengers from each country. That is where I have the numbers that applied to the Sea Princess cruise from 23rd February. Anyone who has cruised in the last couple of years, particularly cruises to NZ will know that there are hundreds of overseas passengers, mainly from USA and UK, but some from European and Asian countries.

 

BTW, when a couple of our family members expressed concern about our going on the 23rd Feb cruise, we replied that it was only going to NZ and there wasn't any COVID there. We felt we were pretty safe. I would not have been as confident 14 days later.

 

The situation world-wide was changing rapidly. Before the 8th March cruise, Princess announced that passengers could cancel up to 48 hours before a cruise and get a full refund. In addition, if passengers went on the cruise, they got a generous on-board-credit. From memory, that was $900 pp for "sticking with us".

 

The bottom line is that Princess didn't realise that someone, most likely one of the passengers, would unknowingly take COVID on board - obviously if they did, the cruise would not have left Sydney. Everyone had to know about the worldwide situation with COVID and that it was changing rapidly. Each of them made their own decision to go ahead with the cruise, just as we did with our 23rd February cruise.

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On 5/4/2020 at 11:37 AM, snowglobe said:

Thank you for that clarification.

 

The point still stands that, just as an overseas passenger or arriving crew member could have brought in onboard, it could just as easily have been an Australian who had been infected at home or in transit to board.

 

I do not doubt that, in that first week of March, community transmission in several Australian cities was already occurring far more widely than initially thought. We will never really know, especially considering how many “mild” cases would have been missed in the early days.

No, this is not possible. An Australian (or an international visitor) could not have picked up the virus in an Australian city prior to boarding the Ruby Princess on 8th March, although it is possible someone waiting to board the ship could have picked it up from someone else waiting to board the ship. COVID did not exist in the community in early March, and in fact it does not now. It is not that mild cases were missed. Every case in Australia is tracked to the source of the infection, then that person's later contacts are tracked and put into isolation.

 

Possibly with the high number of cases in USA, UK and Europe, you might not realise what the situation was in Australia in early March, and still exists now, two months later. The Australian government imposed restrictions very early and they have worked. We have had clusters (in addition to the Ruby) but they are known. We have one from a wedding, one from a birthday party, a few different ones from people who returned form overseas ski trips, a couple in nursing homes where a staff member had the virus and now one in a meatworks where a lot of staff are infected. Even now, there are only a very small number of people with the virus where it cannot be immediately tracked back to an overseas infection. At the start of March, even this was not the case.

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

COVID did not exist in the community in early March, and in fact it does not now.

 

I don't believe your statement. COVID-19 was first confirmed in Australia in late January 2020. There were 18 new case reported today. See Department of Health

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, By The Bay said:

I don't believe your statement. COVID-19 was first confirmed in Australia in late January 2020. There were 18 new case reported today. See Department of Health

 

The first cases were either passengers brought back from the Diamond Princess, a Chinese man who returned from Wuhan to Australia, and a group of Chinese tourists.

 

Are these new cases randomly scattered through the community or are they a cluster? The last cluster I know of is from a meatworks in Victoria. There are also increasing numbers from the nursing home cluster.

 

You may feel that COVID is 'in the community' at the moment (I don't agree), but it certainly was not by 8th March. My point was that Australians going on the Ruby Princess could not have caught the virus on the subway (as someone suggested) or going to the football. There was one cluster from that weekend from a church service in a Baptist Church in Sydney the day of the cruise, but there has been no suggestion that any of those people went on the ship. It would be unlikely anyway with the service in the later part of the morning while anyone going on the cruise would have been either at the passenger terminal or on their way to it.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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I agree with Aus Traveller. In early March there were very few cases in Australia and they had all been traced, and all were people who had arrived from overseas or who were directly associated with someone who had already been diagnosed. And, of course, those people were from all over Australia not just Sydney. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Aus Traveller said:

The first cases were either passengers brought back from the Diamond Princess, a Chinese man who returned from Wuhan to Australia, and a group of Chinese tourists.

 

Are these new cases randomly scattered through the community or are they a cluster? The last cluster I know of is from a meatworks in Victoria. There are also increasing numbers from the nursing home cluster.

 

You may feel that COVID is 'in the community' at the moment (I don't agree), but it certainly was not by 8th March. My point was that Australians going on the Ruby Princess could not have caught the virus on the subway (as someone suggested) or going to the football.


Agree. And this graph supports that. Interestingly a large number of these cases relate to Princess Diamond repatriation. In the early days there was very low community transmission and most if not all of the early cases were directly related to recent overseas travel. Initially China, then Iran and then Italy. That all changed in early March. 
 

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Edited by Pushka

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I thought there were only about eight cases from Diamond Princess.

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2 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

The first cases were either passengers brought back from the Diamond Princess, a Chinese man who returned from Wuhan to Australia, and a group of Chinese tourists.

 

Are these new cases randomly scattered through the community or are they a cluster? The last cluster I know of is from a meatworks in Victoria. There are also increasing numbers from the nursing home cluster.

 

You may feel that COVID is 'in the community' at the moment (I don't agree), but it certainly was not by 8th March. My point was that Australians going on the Ruby Princess could not have caught the virus on the subway (as someone suggested) or going to the football. There was one cluster from that weekend from a church service in a Baptist Church in Sydney the day of the cruise, but there has been no suggestion that any of those people went on the ship. It would be unlikely anyway with the service in the later part of the morning while anyone going on the cruise would have been either at the passenger terminal or on their way to it.

 

So Australia has been testing for antibodies in all Australians since Mach 1st..    I didn't think that was done, but obviously it was.  Great.  I believe testing everyone is the key.  Otherwise,  no one could make the statement that there was no covid in Australia until mid  March.  NYC reported their first covid on Mar 1,  (Iran) but now they think there was already 11,00 undiagnosed.  Mostly from Europe.  Travel restrictions from China started around Jan 13/15?.. but,  Europe restrictions minus UK was almost mid March.

 

How many Australians called for information about international passengers on the cruise?  10, 50, 100, 1800?  I know there were international passengers on the roll call who actually did call Princess for a guarantee of safety and they were quoted how Princess was making sure all was okay.  We had a small roll call but about 3 said they did check.  I didn't call Princess for reassurance..a company in business for profit isn't going to say..oh no don't go.  I made an adult decision..wrong decision in the end.. but I own it.  Anyone saying they had no knowledge of the chance of covid is lying..or had their head up their arse.

 

BTW Princess gave the extra OBC to passengers while we were on line to board..$300 per cabin (balcony) also $30 pp for lunch on Mar 8th...So everyone was crowding the restaurants around the dock from noon to 4/5pm.  Great place to get infected.

 

No one talks about the spread through the ventilation system, but I believe that is also a culprit and all the cleaning in the world on a cruise ship is not going to stop it. 

 

NYC cases are getting lower, however, there is a stange new strain infecting children, infant to teen.  73 cases in NY and one died.

 

But our country is opening up again..some states partial..others a free for all.

 

Protesting morons who say it is their constitutional right to get their hair done..or not wear a mask in the grocery store..all incited by trump..All he cares is the country looking good..money wise,  so he can get reelected.

 

Both trump  and the vp .bobble head..have both been directly exposed this week by staff who tested positive. Karma would be if both are so sick that they have to make the Speaker of the House temporary president.  hahahaha  Fingers crossed.

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3 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I agree with Aus Traveller. In early March there were very few cases in Australia and they had all been traced, and all were people who had arrived from overseas or who were directly associated with someone who had already been diagnosed. And, of course, those people were from all over Australia not just Sydney. 

One case I know of in early March (my DIL's sister) flew into Brisbane from Europe on Saturday 7th. On Monday 9th, she went to her doctor for another matter. He observed that she was unwell and suggested he take a swab for cornavirus testing saying "I don't think you have it". She did. She was placed in isolation in hospital while the friend who had picked her up from the airport, her doctor, receptionist and patients who had been in the waiting room were all put in 14 days' quarantine. None of these people later developed coronavirus.

 

I mention this to point out the extreme measures Australian authorities took from Day 1 to test, trace and isolate.

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1 hour ago, BRANDEE said:

 

So Australia has been testing for antibodies in all Australians since Mach 1st..    I didn't think that was done, but obviously it was.  Great.  I believe testing everyone is the key.  Otherwise,  no one could make the statement that there was no covid in Australia until mid  March.  NYC reported their first covid on Mar 1,  (Iran) but now they think there was already 11,00 undiagnosed.  Mostly from Europe.  Travel restrictions from China started around Jan 13/15?.. but,  Europe restrictions minus UK was almost mid March.

Australia has not been testing everyone for antibodies, but the reason I say that COVID was not running around the community is the fact that we have so few cases. You mention that NYC had their first diagnosed case of COVID on March 1st, but now experts believe there were already 11,000 (or did you mean 1,100) undiagnosed. If Australia had large numbers of undiagnosed cases then, or even one month later, we would have large numbers now, instead of the many days where the medical experts happily report that we had no cases since yesterday, or maybe reporting that we have one or two cases. We have never got to the point where there are hundreds of new cases. (Thank God)

 

I read where Californian medical authorities now believe they had their first coronavirus death in mid January.

 

BTW, originally because of the lack of test kits, only people who had come from overseas or who had contact with a confirmed case, would have the test. For some time now, testing is much more widely available.

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1 hour ago, BRANDEE said:

 

No one talks about the spread through the ventilation system, but I believe that is also a culprit and all the cleaning in the world on a cruise ship is not going to stop it.

The question of transmission through a ship's ventilation system was widely debated during the Diamond Princess 'event'. It has been discounted. One occasional poster ('cheng75') who, as his name implies, is a Chief Engineer on Princess cruise ships, explained in detail how the ventilation system works and the pressure of air in cabins that prevents air from the hallway entering the cabin. This system is used to prevent smoke entering cabins if there is a fire. We experienced this when there was a fire in a cabin on the Grand Princess only about five cabins down the hallway from our cabin. The hallway was choked with smoke, but absolutely none in our cabin.

 

Of course, while passengers are in the dining room or the theatre, the air is circulating in the space they are in.

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This is the explanation of cabin air-con that chengkp75 posted on the Diamond Princess thread in February.

"One of the main reason that the guests are quarantined in their cabins most of the day, is that the AC in cabins is not shared or recirculated.  There are two AC systems on the ship.  One takes outside air, cools it, and supplies it to the cabins, in a one way flow.  This fresh air supplied to the cabins is almost balanced by the bathroom exhaust which takes the air to the outside, in a one way flow.  The fresh air supply is slightly greater than the exhaust to keep the cabin at a slight positive pressure relative to the outside, and to the passageway outside the cabin.  The AC controlled by the cabin thermostat is air within the cabin, that is recirculated within the cabin, passing over the individual cabin's cooler."

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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

This is the explanation of cabin air-con that chengkp75 posted on the Diamond Princess thread in February.

"One of the main reason that the guests are quarantined in their cabins most of the day, is that the AC in cabins is not shared or recirculated.  There are two AC systems on the ship.  One takes outside air, cools it, and supplies it to the cabins, in a one way flow.  This fresh air supplied to the cabins is almost balanced by the bathroom exhaust which takes the air to the outside, in a one way flow.  The fresh air supply is slightly greater than the exhaust to keep the cabin at a slight positive pressure relative to the outside, and to the passageway outside the cabin.  The AC controlled by the cabin thermostat is air within the cabin, that is recirculated within the cabin, passing over the individual cabin's cooler."

Based on the knowledge and experience chengkp75 has displayed many times, I am sure that this is accurate.  However, many people on the Diamond Princess apparently continued to catch the virus despite being confined to their rooms.  One well known passenger (David Abel) who documented his experiences of catching covid19 on youtube and was (is?) a big fan of Princess said that late in the outbreak the crew put tape over air vents outside each cabin.  Another two vectors that I have heard about are the crew taking meals from room to room and unknowingly spreading the virus and the possibility that the infection could have spread through the plumbing. 

 

However it spread, people everywhere and in every organisation or group were doing their best with the information they had at the time.   

 

edit: I don't know much about it but it is also possible that opening balcony doors could affect the protection offered by positive pressure

 

Edited by lucymorgan

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4 minutes ago, lucymorgan said:

Based on the knowledge and experience chengkp75 has displayed many times, I am sure that this is accurate.  However, many people on the Diamond Princess apparently continued to catch the virus despite being confined to their rooms.  One well known passenger (David Abel) who documented his experiences of catching covid19 on youtube and was (is?) a big fan of Princess said that late in the outbreak the crew put tape over air vents outside each cabin.  Another two vectors that I have heard about are the crew taking meals from room to room and unknowingly spreading the virus and the possibility that the infection could have spread through the plumbing. 

 

However it spread, people everywhere and in every organisation or group were doing their best with the information they had at the time.   

 

edit: I don't know much about it but it is also possible that opening balcony doors could affect the protection offered by positive pressure

Just because the crew put tape over the air vents in the door, it doesn't mean that cheng75 gave incorrect information. It could have been done out of 'an abundance of caution'. Sorry - couldn't help using that phrase.

 

DiamondFour has reported that the Japanese report on the Diamond states that there was no transmission from passenger to passenger after the quarantine was put in place. They did say there could have been a problem if crew to passenger transmission when food etc was delivered.

 

I agree with your last two comments - everyone was doing the best with the information at the time. I also agree that keeping a balcony door open would affect the positive pressure in a cabin. Most of us have probably experienced what happens if the balcony door is open and someone opens the door from the cabin to the hallway - lightweight items like papers can blow towards the balcony door.

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4 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I thought there were only about eight cases from Diamond Princess.

At the time of the late Feb - early March period the Diamond Princess numbers formed a large percentage. Of course that later changed as more became infected from other sources.

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1 hour ago, Pushka said:

At the time of the late Feb - early March period the Diamond Princess numbers formed a large percentage. Of course that later changed as more became infected from other sources.

About 30% at the beginning of March and 10% a week later, and about 1% now. But at the time those figures were significant as they were part of the small second wave. The initial cases were all from China then things stabilised for a few weeks, then we started getting visitors, or Australians returning home, from Europe, the Middle East (was it Saudi Arabia?), the UK and the US. In all those places the confirmed cases were ramping up very quickly and, in some cases, there was a big question mark over how accurate the stats were.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

COVID did not exist in the community in early March, and in fact it does not now.

 

12 hours ago, By The Bay said:

I don't believe your statement. COVID-19 was first confirmed in Australia in late January 2020. There were 18 new case reported today. See Department of Health

 

 

12 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

You may feel that COVID is 'in the community' at the moment (I don't agree)

 

11 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I agree with Aus Traveller. In early March there were very few cases in Australia and they had all been traced

The table below comes from https://covidlive.com.au and clearly shows only NT & Tas (debatable) have traced all cases.

Plenty of community transmission or at very least currently untraced transmission.  These numbers do continue to change up and down as new cases are added or investigations determine a 'likely' source.

It is difficult to put community transmission into the timeline and health authorities may never even try, however I am pretty certain (wink wink) that it would have been in February.

Screenshot_20200509-230549_Samsung Internet.jpg

Edited by banzaii

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7 hours ago, lucymorgan said:

Based on the knowledge and experience chengkp75 has displayed many times, I am sure that this is accurate.  

7 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Just because the crew put tape over the air vents in the door, it doesn't mean that cheng75 gave incorrect information.

 

I said I was sure it was accurate.  However, we don't yet know enough about how the virus spreads. 

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9 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

Australia has not been testing everyone for antibodies, but the reason I say that COVID was not running around the community is the fact that we have so few cases. You mention that NYC had their first diagnosed case of COVID on March 1st, but now experts believe there were already 11,000 (or did you mean 1,100) undiagnosed. If Australia had large numbers of undiagnosed cases then, or even one month later, we would have large numbers now, instead of the many days where the medical experts happily report that we had no cases since yesterday, or maybe reporting that we have one or two cases. We have never got to the point where there are hundreds of new cases. (Thank God)

 

I read where Californian medical authorities now believe they had their first coronavirus death in mid January.

 

BTW, originally because of the lack of test kits, only people who had come from overseas or who had contact with a confirmed case, would have the test. For some time now, testing is much more widely available.

 

The article said 11,000 in NYC and around 28,000 in the five major cities.  They also claim the first was probably around mid January.  Of course, now anyone who did not feel good from mid January until mid March are starting to wonder if they had it.  Antibody tests are just beginning to be available to all non essential workers.  The problem is some are rapid results with a very high false positive.  It will be a long time before true numbers are available. My husband and I finally got tested.  Currently negative and we both have antibodies...we were able to get the "better" test..took a few days for results.

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9 hours ago, Aus Traveller said:

The question of transmission through a ship's ventilation system was widely debated during the Diamond Princess 'event'. It has been discounted. One occasional poster ('cheng75') who, as his name implies, is a Chief Engineer on Princess cruise ships, explained in detail how the ventilation system works and the pressure of air in cabins that prevents air from the hallway entering the cabin. This system is used to prevent smoke entering cabins if there is a fire. We experienced this when there was a fire in a cabin on the Grand Princess only about five cabins down the hallway from our cabin. The hallway was choked with smoke, but absolutely none in our cabin.

 

Of course, while passengers are in the dining room or the theatre, the air is circulating in the space they are in.

 

I was following a passenger on the Diamond..David Abel..and at one point in his quarantine..he said that they started to duct tape the vents that lead from cabin to hallway???.  Sounded pretty interesting. I meant to look at what vent he was talking about when I boarded the Ruby..but forgot. This was done right before they started to evacuate all passengers and it had already spread to a large amount.

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8 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

 

I was following a passenger on the Diamond..David Abel..and at one point in his quarantine..he said that they started to duct tape the vents that lead from cabin to hallway???.  Sounded pretty interesting. I meant to look at what vent he was talking about when I boarded the Ruby..but forgot. This was done right before they started to evacuate all passengers and it had already spread to a large amount.

I was following his posts and recall that happening too. It was never really explained. However in chengkp75's info he mentions the slight positive pressure that the air con tries to maintain. This is negated by people leaving their balcony doors open, and no negative pressure would allow air from the hallway to enter the cabin. Blocking the vent would stop that happening.

 

 

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