ACT's first coronavirus death

The first person in the ACT to die from COVID-19 was a passenger on the Ruby Princess cruise ship, authorities have confirmed at the request of her family.

By Admin Published on Apr 04, 2020.
ACT Health was initially reluctant to release personal details about the woman, in her 80s, who died at Canberra Hospital over the weekend, other than to say she was an international traveller.

But authorities have now confirmed the woman contracted the virus aboard the vessel, which docked in Sydney two weeks ago.

The ship has been linked to hundreds of coronavirus cases, with accusations flying between NSW Health and the Australian Border Force over which agency allowed passengers on the ship to disembark, despite several people on board being tested for exposure to coronavirus.

Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said she did not want to apportion political blame, but that it was unfortunate so many cases had stemmed from the ship.

"This is the very sad reality of this disease and our thoughts continue to be with the family and friends of the woman who passed away," Ms Stephen-Smith said.

"Clearly what this demonstrates is that cruise ships are places where viruses spread when something happens on a cruise ship, it goes around.

"It is obviously concerning to see the number of cases that have come off cruise ships, but it's not entirely surprising given the environment."

ACT Health said three people had tested positive to COVID-19 in Canberra in the past 24 hours.

They also said one person whose illness had been thought to be COVID-19 had, in fact, not had the virus.

That patient has now been removed from the tally of confirmed cases.