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Senior Counsel Bret Walker listens to evidence during the special commission of inquiry

Australia's Ruby Princess coronavirus inquiry reveals ‘serious mistakes’

The delay in getting coronavirus test results aboard Ruby Princess before 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark in Sydney on March 19 was called ‘unacceptable’ during a hearing by a special commission of inquiry.

Hundreds of coronavirus cases

NSW Health was criticised for failing to process the swab results onshore before passengers left the Princess Cruises ship. This has been linked to hundreds of cases of coronavirus around Australia and 22 deaths.

Failure to inform passengers

Ruby Princess doctor Ilse Von Watzdorf was criticised for failing to update NSW Health about the spike in cases and Carnival Australia for noncompliance with testing sick passengers and for failing to inform passengers there were suspected cases of coronavirus on board.

The inquiry continues Friday, with senior counsel barrister Bret Walker due to hand down his report on August 14.

A criminal investigation by homicide detectives is due to be completed in September and separate coronial inquiries could take more than a year.

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