Tourism

Two more flights into Australia exposed to coronavirus, as cruise ship met by protest

Authorities are asking passengers from two separate flights to contact a helpline for self-quarantine, after two more passengers coming from Iran have been diagnosed with coronavirus.

A woman in her 30s who was travelling to Melbourne from Iran via Kuala Lumpur and Bali on Malindo Air flight OD 177 on Friday was later diagnosed with the virus, which she is recovering from with mild symptoms, according to ABC News.

The state’s chief medical advisor Brett Sutton said health authorities were calling for all passengers who were sitting in the same row or the two rows either of the women to self-quarantine.

All passengers from the flight are being urged to call the Victorian Department of Health’s COVID-19 helpline on 1800 675 398 as authorities are currently unable to get hold of the flight manifest.

Tasmania has now confirmed its first case of coronavirus after a man travelling from Iran to Launceston via Malaysia and Melbourne on Virgin flight VA-1368 on Saturday was diagnosed with the virus.

Tasmania’s Public Health director Mark Veitch told a press conference the 40-year-old man had self-isolated and “had very little movement through Launceston” before presenting at Launceston General Hospital, ABC News reported.

The new cases bring Australia’s infection rate above 30. Peter Collignon, an infectious diseases physician and microbiologist at Canberra Hospital, told ABC News that although the disease is less infectious than influenza, it is inevitable that we will see more cases.

“I think it is inevitable that we will see more cases given what has happened all over the world but I don’t think it is inevitable that we will see widespread uncontained cases through the community,” he said.

Cruise ship met with protest

A cruise ship carrying mostly Australian and New Zealand citizens was met with violent protest in Réunion as well as being denied at two different ports over coronavirus fears.

Sun Princess was in the process of carrying 2000 people on its seven-week Indian Ocean Odessey itinerary when it was refused entry to Madagascar because it had been to Thailand less than 14 days earlier, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The next port it encountered trouble in was on Réunion Island, a French territory off the coast of Africa over the weekend where its first shuttle bus of passengers were met with about 30 protesters who threw bottles and rocks as they arrived in the Pointe des Gallets port.

The ship’s captain ordered passengers back onto the ship as police attacked the protesters with tear gas. Video footage also shows fires had been lit on the sides of the road.

As a result, the captain decided not to allow passengers to stay there overnight and opted instead to head for the ships next stop, the Republic of Mauritius. However, the government soon withdrew permission for the ship to stop there too.

The ship now faces an eight-day journey back to Fremantle in Western Australia.

Featured image credit: iStock.com/JianGang Wang


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