Two more virus deaths as row over cruise ship rages


New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard has defended his department's decision to let the Ruby Princess cruise ship dock and unload its passengers in Sydney last month.

Hundreds of those passengers have since tested positive for the coronavirus, and seven of them have died. A large number of the confirmed cases in Australia - about 10 per cent of them - have been linked to the ship.

That, understandably, has led to criticism of NSW Health.

But speaking at a press conference in Sydney this morning, Mr Hazzard was defiant. He slammed the criticism of his department's officials, and rejected calls for his own resignation, saying he had no knowledge of the Ruby Princess decision until after it had been made.


The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Australia now stands at 5525.

As of Saturday afternoon there were 2493 in NSW, 1115 in Victoria, 900 in Queensland, 396 in South Australia, 422 in Western Australia, 80 in Tasmania, 93 in the Australian Capital Territory and 26 in the Northern Territory.

The national death tally rose to 30 today, with a second victim confirmed in the ACT.


ACT records second death

Stephanie Bedo

ACT Health says a man in his 80s has died after contracting coronavirus, taking the national death toll to 30.

The man had pre-existing health issues.

The state has recorded two new cases.


One new death, 165 new cases

Sam Clench

Amid all that excitement, we got some new figures from a number of states. Let's run through them now.

As we mentioned earlier, New South Wales has added 104 new coronavirus cases, bringing its state total to 2493.

Victoria has reported 30 new cases and a total of 1115. It has also suffered one more death, with a woman in her seventies dying in hospital.

Queensland has come in a little lower, with 27 new cases and 900 in total.

And the Northern Territory added four new cases overnight, bringing its total to 26.

That all adds up to a national tally of 5523 confirmed cases, up 165 from yesterday, and a death toll of 29.