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Ruby Princess - Special Inquiry - Evidence To Date


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49 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Did those two people get Covid-19? And if so, did they just keep on moving around the ship after they got symptoms?

Yes they did. They were featured in the Channel 7 news special back in April. Only Mr Beerens spoke as wife was to ill at the time he claimed they were told nothing and were rushed off the ship and treated like sheep. They passed it onto their son who said he didn't come any closer to them then 2 metres. It was never said in that interview when they were diagnosed or when they started displaying symptoms. He asked is the government going to take responsibility. 

Edited by Cruisegroover
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I wonder what would happen if someone interviewed all the people who caught the virus to build a timeline of when they started feeling unwell. It would be very interesting, and might make some of the "who can I sue" passengers think twice about blaming the ship or the government if they were listed early on the timeline.

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6 hours ago, christodan said:

Just watched it. And there were another two passengers on the program who said they were not going to pay $60- $100 to see the ships doctor.They can't see the irony that they have paid thousands for a cruise but refuse to pay for their health ( or to perhaps save someone else's life). 

Anyway, it looks like Princess are pretty much off the hook.

I'm not able to view it..is there another link that might work..Thanks

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5 hours ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

I wonder what would happen if someone interviewed all the people who caught the virus to build a timeline of when they started feeling unwell. It would be very interesting, and might make some of the "who can I sue" passengers think twice about blaming the ship or the government if they were listed early on the timeline.

The person who would not pay the money to see the doctor..was it the transplant lady?  Saw her interview a few months back blaming Princess for being money hungry but refusing to go to medical due to cost. 

FYI..My husband's first symptom was early morning Mar 20th and my first symptom was April 1st.  My sister in law developed a very bad cough Mar 21.  My brother never had symptoms and he is the only one who has tested for no anitbodies.  The transplant lady who had symptoms early on in the cruise and never curtailed her activities probably infected hundreds. I would like to sue that cheap *****!!  Excuse my French...lol

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13 hours ago, Cyrix400 said:

"Ruby Princess passengers allowed off ship after Border Force mistook negative flu tests for coronavirus results"

This is the title of the 'exclusive' ABC news long article, just now on their website (link below) - with the story apparently on 7.30 program tonight. It looks like the reporter just managed to sift thorough the Commission exibits, and in particular the one from Commonwealth with its many attachments.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-30/border-force-ruby-princess-coronavirus-test-bungle/12505072

 

 

 

 

The ball is now squarely back with Health NSW, after Australian Border Force (ABF) issued a statement yesterday refuting its responsibility - quotes:

 

'No ABF officer had authority to make biosecurity decisions in relation to the Ruby Princess, including about pratique (i.e. permission to disembark).

The ABF responsibility does not include preventing the disembarkation of passengers or crew for human health reasons.

Any misinterpretaion by ABF officers of test results did not make a difference as to whether passengers were cleared to disembark the Ruby Princess. Human health is not the responsibility of the ABF'

 

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5 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

I'm not able to view it..is there another link that might work..Thanks

Here is a link to the full episode of the ABC's Thursday night 7:30 Report. The Ruby Princess segment starts at the 4:41 timeline.

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12 hours ago, christodan said:

Anyway, it looks like Princess are pretty much off the hook.

I have no dog in this fight but I'll wait for the findings. There are a few things under consideration from the hearings such as, off the top of my head:

- the ship sailed in contravention of the requirement to carry sufficient swabs ( excuse: they were hard to get & NSW Health didn't stop them)

- Mr Mifsud stating to others that there was no COVID on board. He admitted that the only basis for him saying this was that he knew there was no way to test for this on-board

- all directions from local authorities went to some US dept of Carnival/HAL with little action 

- ship doctor failed to file report on medical presentations on time & there is a lingering doubt about the numbers reported, possibly as a result of the unclear NSW Health definitions about ILI and ARS

- ship/shoreside failed to follow the social distancing rules putting passengers, crew, shoreside staff and the public at risk

- they did not provide the free medical consultations as required (they did remove charges on some) and their contention that the charge makes no difference to people presenting is laughable to ANYONE who has ever been on a cruise

 

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Kristina Keneally gave a huge serve on the ABC news show this morning.

 

A couple of things she said indicated that the legal responsibility for the ships in port belongs to ABF and NSW Health was not physically present.

 

ABF Officer made his own spreadsheet to track infections and tests etc.

 

She also said the Morrison and Dutton were refusing to allow ABF officers to front the inquiry and be questioned.  Have legally challenged subpoenas issued by the inquiry (although I did not know it had that power).

 

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Docker123 said:

She also said the Morrison and Dutton were refusing to allow ABF officers to front the inquiry and be questioned.  Have legally challenged subpoenas issued by the inquiry (although I did not know it had that power).

What did they have to hide? Did they want to keep the ABF's Officers handling hidden? 🤔

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6 hours ago, BRANDEE said:

The person who would not pay the money to see the doctor..was it the transplant lady?  Saw her interview a few months back blaming Princess for being money hungry but refusing to go to medical due to cost. 

FYI..My husband's first symptom was early morning Mar 20th and my first symptom was April 1st.  My sister in law developed a very bad cough Mar 21.  My brother never had symptoms and he is the only one who has tested for no anitbodies.  The transplant lady who had symptoms early on in the cruise and never curtailed her activities probably infected hundreds. I would like to sue that cheap *****!!  Excuse my French...lol

Thanks, BRANDEE. Yes, I remember you saying you didn't develop symptoms until after you'd headed home.  

 

Unfortunately I guess we'll never get a timeline of infections, it's probably too late now anyway, but it would have been an interesting case study of how quickly it spread.

 

Everytime I hear about that nasty woman not going to the medical centre I wonder if she had travel insurance. Possibly not, given her health issues although she claimed to be a frequent cruiser. If she was worried about a few hundred dollars what would have happened if she'd had to be medevac'd off for some reason? 🤔🙄😮

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20 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

Unfortunately I guess we'll never get a timeline of infections, it's probably too late now anyway, but it would have been an interesting case study of how quickly it spread.

 

I agree with you.  It would be very interesting to have some kind of timeline regarding infection spread.  I am still surprised that in the ports of New Zealand..only in Napier (the last of four visited ports) did any covid spread to the community.  Stay safe and well!

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My guess is that most of the infections happened during the last few sea days when the majority of passengers were mingling throughout the ship. Prior to that there probably weren't that many people who were infectious. Napier was only day 8 of the cruise. So lets say one person boarded with the virus and started shedding within a day or so. The research shows that typically each person infects three others with this virus. If we assume that three more people caught it they may have started shedding on days 4 or 5. That may have resulted in nine more people having it and shedding on days 7 or 8 - and now the ship is in Napier with 30+ people infected. And three days at sea with many of those people mingling in close quarters resulted in exponential growth in infections. 

 

OK, that's a pretty rough timeline but you get the picture, I hope. Personally I think the "one person infects three others" theory is a little on the low side in a closed environment like a ship but I guess it is an average that covers all situations.

 

 

Edited by OzKiwiJJ
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3 hours ago, mr walker said:

Mr Mifsud stating to others that there was no COVID on board. He admitted that the only basis for him saying this was that he knew there was no way to test for this on-board

No according to him, he didn't say there was no COVID on board. He said:

"What I may have said is there are no confirmed COVID cases on board at the time ... because I knew the ship didn't have the ability to do testing."

Mr Mifsud said he mentioned to both Ms Fensom and Mr Rybanic that COVID-19 swabs "had to be landed" to determine if the virus was on the ship.

"I recall leaving the conversation on the presumption that operations would take place."

 

One word 'confirmed' makes a huge difference in the meaning.

 

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Final observations:   all parties to the inquiry got to have their detailed say (via written submissions) why certain finding should - or should not - be made - and also got  the opportunity to say why the Commissioner should not  have asked or come to certain conclusions - in light of the evidence given.

 

It is not the intention of Special Commissions to ambush any party, and the Commissioner gives everybody (who was previously given the leave to appear) to have their detailed say,  before the final report outlining the Inquiry finding and recommendation is made.

 

The final submissions on the Inquiry site (which I only had a quick look at) are very comprehensive, going to specific point of evidence and extracts from the transcript, to enhance each party's argument in their respective submission. And they are long and technical - NSW Health 67 pages,  NSW Port Authority 21 pages, Princess Cruises (Carnival Australia ) 33 pages and the International Transport Workers Federation 46 pages plus attachments.

 

For those really keen to see how Princess defends itself against "Serious and baseless criticism by senior public officials' - (including the Minister and Police Commissioner)-  this section starts on p 9-12 of their submission.

Princess conclusion is that "Whatever else might be found about the actions of the Princess Parties, it is submitted that the Commissioner should find that Commodore Pomata, Dr von Watzdorf and the port agent personnel (Mr Mifsud, Ms Burrows and Ms Tokovic) acted honestly in all their dealings with government officials on 18 and 19 March 2020".

 

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I pretty much read it all ie., just what Princess said in its defense. I thought Commission Walker was being too harsh when he criticized Princess for not having enough swabs. And I was right, they went into a lot of detail in their attempts to get swabs, but noted how there was a worldwide shortage at the time and everyone was having difficulty getting them.

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7 hours ago, christodan said:

I pretty much read it all ie., just what Princess said in its defense. I thought Commission Walker was being too harsh when he criticized Princess for not having enough swabs. And I was right, they went into a lot of detail in their attempts to get swabs, but noted how there was a worldwide shortage at the time and everyone was having difficulty getting them.

 

Re famous SWABS issue - this is a good example why, in light of the detailed evidence which often emerges after the initial questioning (e.g. here supplied by Princess),  the Commission can  and do sometimes  revise its provisional finding -  and the initial criticism of a party turns out not to be justified on the evidence. The key to a lot of things is the quality evidence provided -  and the weight placed on it.

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4 hours ago, Cyrix400 said:

 

Re famous SWABS issue - this is a good example why, in light of the detailed evidence which often emerges after the initial questioning (e.g. here supplied by Princess),  the Commission can  and do sometimes  revise its provisional finding -  and the initial criticism of a party turns out not to be justified on the evidence. The key to a lot of things is the quality evidence provided -  and the weight placed on it.

Thank you for your detailed posts about the Commission hearing. I am very busy with a project that will take close to a year and although I am very interested in the Commission, I don't want to take the time to read extensive reports. Your precis reports have been excellent.

 

A comment on issues like the Commissioner's comments about Princess not getting swabs - I feel it is a common failing for people to consider issues in the light of current knowledge, forgetting what the knowledge and issues were at the time the event occurred. At the time of the Ruby Princess cruise, the world-wide issues surrounding COVID (or Coronavirus as it was then called) were changing every day. I can recall that right through March and probably into April, there was a shortage of COVID test kits worldwide (as well as in Australia) and the public couldn't readily get tested.

 

I will be very interested to read the Commissioner's report (or your condensed version). 🙂

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13 hours ago, christodan said:

I pretty much read it all ie., just what Princess said in its defense. I thought Commission Walker was being too harsh when he criticized Princess for not having enough swabs. And I was right, they went into a lot of detail in their attempts to get swabs, but noted how there was a worldwide shortage at the time and everyone was having difficulty getting them.

 

If the requirements are that you must have swabs, you must have swabs or not sail, unless you seek and get permission from the authorities -  I have seen no reference to an exemption being sought. It is not a matter of how easy or hard it is. If there was a shortage of car airbags, could the car company sell cars without them?

My concern is that Princess/Carnival have only been operating in damage control mode. The whole focus of their representative in the hearing has been to protect the brand & the employees, not in finding out how to prevent something similar in the future. Admit nothing and hang on for grim death must be their motto.

From my view the Carnival port agents were totally untrained for the situation and their boss was all about having the problem go away. To be fair to them, similar can be said about NSW Health.

Leaving all that happened on the ship aside, letting off passengers into the terminal with no efforts made in terms of social distancing (requirements that were in place by that time) etc was a serious mistake, one well made by the representative of the unions.

I will await the report. 

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Didn't NSW Health give them a small pack of swabs? If so that would probably be seen to be tacit approval for the cruise to go ahead with limited swab supplies.

 

As Aus Traveller said, it is too easy to judge based on hindsight and current conditions.

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42 minutes ago, mr walker said:

If the requirements are that you must have swabs, you must have swabs or not sail, unless you seek and get permission from the authorities -  I have seen no reference to an exemption being sought. It is not a matter of how easy or hard it is

As far as I can tell, the ship's doctor was very transparent with Ms Ressler with how many swabs they had on board. So therefore, if that was not acceptable to NSW Health, then they should have stopped the ship from leaving the port in the first place. But they did not. I see no evidence of  Princess covering up anything.

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59 minutes ago, mr walker said:

If there was a shortage of car airbags, could the car company sell cars without them?

 

Funny, you should say that because thousands of people, including myself, were driving around for months and months with faulty airbags because there was a shortage.

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