SOME seven passengers on the Artania cruise ship, currently moored off Fremantle in Western Australia, have tested positive for coronavirus.
WA Premier Mark McGowan has called on the Australian Navy to help get the ship, with zero passengers on board, to leave Australian waters.
On the ship are 800 passengers and 500 crew on board, to leave Australian waters.
Only people with life-threating conditions are to be allowed into WA, according to state authorities.
The WA government has requested Commonwealth help, floating the idea of any medical treatment taking place in defence areas away from the general public.
“We’d like the Commonwealth to assist with that, we’d like those passengers … if they have to, to go into a Commonwealth facility,” Premier Mark McGowan told reporters at a press conference.
“There’s no Australians on board, it needs to be fuelled, but it needs to leave and go to its home port.
“Its home port is actually Germany, so what we’re saying to the ship is ‘you need to leave’, and we’re saying to the Commonwealth ‘you need to help us get that ship to leave’.”
Mr McGowan said he had been in contact with Australia’s Border Force.
Mr McGowan said he did not want a repeat of the Ruby Princess fiasco in Sydney, where some of the thousands of passengers allowed to disembark later tested positive to COVID-19.
This prompted a stoush over whether it was New South Wales Health or the Australian Border Force that was responsible.