NSW health Gladys Berejiklian

Ms Berejiklian said COVID-19 cases are increasing, and schools remain open for those who require them. Courtesy: ABC News

Health authorities in NSW have confirmed Australia’s eighth coronavirus death — a female passenger in her 70s who had been on the Ruby Princess cruise ship.

NSW Health said the woman, who was among the first group of people infected on the ship, died in hospital this morning.

There have been 133 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 aboard the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney last week.

Of those, 107 are from NSW, and 26 are from interstate.

The woman is the seventh person to die from COVID-19 in NSW.

Australia’s other fatality was in Perth.

In the 24 hours to 8:00pm yesterday, a total of 149 coronavirus infections were confirmed in NSW, taking the state’s total to 818.

NSW Health said no cases of COVID-19 were found by doctors on board the cruise liner before docking.

“Five people who had displayed influenza-like illness were tested in Wellington, New Zealand on 14 March, and all were negative for COVID-19,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

It comes after reports of passengers spending days in the community before being asked to self-isolate following coronavirus detections on board.

On March 18, federal Health Minister Greg Hunt issued an emergency biosecurity order preventing any cruise vessels from docking in Australia for the next month.

There were 13 passenger cruise ships still at sea at the time the order came into force, including the Ruby Princess.

NSW Health said among the 149 new cases of COVID-19 were two teachers at Normanhurst West Public School, in Sydney’s upper north shore.

The school remains closed.

There have been a further three positive cases at Dorothy Henderson Lodge, where 11 residents and five staff have been infected with the virus so far.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-24/coronavirus-cases-in-nsw-increase-and-pass-800/12080260