The Premier for NSW has apologised for the mistakes that led to the COVID-19 outbreak sparked by the Ruby Princess.
A statement from the NSW government said NSW Health has “acted immediately” to address the failures identified by the commissioner of the inquiry, Brett Walker.
The Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess handed in its findings on Friday in which Walker slammed NSW Health for its “inexcusable” and “inexplicable” mistakes.
In a press conference that was live-streamed on Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s Facebook page, apologised “unreservedly to anyone who has suffered as a result of the mistakes that were outlined in the report undertaken by individuals within the health department of the health agency”.
“I extend that apology unreservedly in particular to the 62 people who got the virus in a secondary or tertiary way,” Berejiklian said.
“The 62 people who weren’t on the ship but somehow contracted the virus as a consequence of that disembarkation.
“I want to apologise unreservedly to anybody who is continuing to suffer or has suffered unimaginable loss because of mistakes that were made within the health agencies.”
Berejiklian stressed that Walker’s report also concluded that the mistakes weren’t systematic issues and that he still has “full confidence” of those working against the pandemic.
“We have learned so much since those horrible mistakes [were made] as the Premier, again, I want to apologise to anybody especially those 62 individuals.”
The Australian Border Force (ABF) commissioner Michael Outram has also released a response to the findings and said the organisation is considering the report’s recommendations.
“The findings of the report are consistent with the statements made by me… and the submissions made by the Commonwealth,” he said.
The inquiry was established in April after 2,700 passengers were allowed to disembark the Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in March, which led to hundreds of cases of COVID-19 and at least 28 deaths.
Featured image source: Facebook/Gladys Berejiklian