Australia has recorded its first death from coronavirus – a 78-year-old from the Diamond Princess died in the early hours of Sunday at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.
The unnamed man and his wife were among 164 Australians quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess with coronavirus and flown from Japan to Darwin and placed in isolation at the Howards Springs camp.
He had been taken from a Darwin quarantine camp with his wife, who is also infected. She is now in isolation at a Perth hospital.
All guests on the Diamond Princess have disembarked, after the start of the quarantine on February 4, Princess Cruises has confirmed.
There are currently fewer than 500 crew members still on board, with some awaiting government charter flights, according to the line statement.
“For those team members who will not depart by government charter flights, we have finalized plans with the Japan Ministry of Health for a quarantine shoreside facility in Japan,” says the line.
Princess Cruises has hired Aspen Medical, an Australia-based, award-winning and WHO-certified company with extensive global experience in delivering public health services, to provide team members with health and wellbeing care during a quarantine at a land-based centre in Japan.
Aspen Medical will deploy as many as 60 professionals including clinically certified doctors, nurses and environmental health officers along with operations personnel. The company will also provide services like daily health checks, laundry services, meal service, housekeeping service and assist with recreational activities at the facility.
This secondary quarantine is required by the Japan Ministry of Health to ensure the health and well-being of each team member. Aspen Medical will be operating under the direction of the Japan Ministry of Health, which is ultimately responsible for the quarantine.
Of 3,700 passengers and crew onboard Diamond Princess, 705 of them were confirmed with coronavirus and a fourth infected passenger died earlier this week.
Eight of 164 Australian passengers have tested positive for the virus since arriving in Darwin on February 20 for their second two-week quarantine. All have been transferred to their home state for medical treatment.
The quarantine of the remaining 156 passengers is expected to end on March 4.