Ruby Princess passenger dies, taking national coronavirus death toll to 98

An 81-year-old woman who was a passenger on the ill-fated Ruby Princess cruise ship has died of coronavirus in NSW, taking the national toll to 98

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks to the media during a press conference in Sydney, Sunday, May 10, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett) NO ARCHIVING

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Source: AAP

An 81-year-old woman who travelled on the coronavirus-plagued Ruby Princess cruise ship has died in NSW, taking the state's toll to 47 and Australia's to 98.

The woman died on Tuesday, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters on Wednesday, having disembarked the Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19.

It's the first COVID-19 death to be reported in Australia in a week, with the last death recorded on May 5.

"It's upsetting to know people are still perishing, dying from this horrible virus and we can't imagine what families are going through," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

NSW recorded six new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday, including three health authorities fear were infected in the community.

Two new cases were contacts of those connected to the Newmarch House aged care home COVID-19 cluster, where 16 residents have died.

No new COVID-19 cases were reported in NSW in the previous 24-hour period as state parliament resumed to consider a number of measures to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday reiterated success for NSW should be perceived as a healthy balance between economic and social activity and manageable case numbers.

The state has to date recorded 3059 COVID-19 cases, with about 10 in intensive care.

"We have to accept a manageable number of cases will allow us to have people keep their jobs, we don't want to see more people go into distress," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We also need to think about how our economy comes back in some form whilst maintaining the overall health of our citizens, and that's the tough balance.

"In NSW we feel quite armed with options before us because we have done well with a population of our size and with the number of cases."

 NSW parliament resumed on Tuesday with the coalition government introducing bills proposing to amend about 40 Acts, following the passage of emergency legislation in March.

Among the amendments were a payroll tax exemption for JobKeeper payments to stood-down workers and changes to annual and long service leave laws.

Students this week resumed some face-to-face learning in NSW while on Friday, restrictions will ease with five visitors allowed in homes and 10 people allowed at outdoor gatherings and in cafes and restaurants.

But Ms Berejiklian said pubs nevertheless would not yet open.

"Obviously, sitting down and having a meal and exercising social distancing is different to people having a drink or otherwise at a pub," Ms Berejiklian said.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits. Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. The federal government's coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone's app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.


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Published 13 May 2020 at 8:26am, updated 13 May 2020 at 10:44am