Coronavirus crisis: WA records 11 new COVID-19 cases

Peter de KruijffThe West Australian
Health Minister Roger Cook.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

WA has cracked the 500 mark for COVID-19 cases with 11 new positives overnight.

The State total is now at 506 with the new cases consisting of people aged between 25 and 78-years-old.

Nine of the cases are related to cruise ship or overseas travel including four from the Artania, three from the Costa Victoria, one from the Celebrity Apex and one from the Ruby Princess.

There have been 191 cases linked to cruise ships in WA, including 65 from the Artania and 53 from the Ruby Princess.

There have been 20,638 negative tests in WA including 4221 from the regions.

Two hundred and three people have recovered from the virus.

Of the new West Australian cases there nine are from the metropolitan area and two from the Goldfields.

The total regional breakdown of positive cases so far includes 17 in the Kimberley, nine in the Great Southern, nine in the South West, nine in the Wheatbelt, six in the Goldfields, five in the Pilbara and three in the Mid-West.

Seventeen people are in an intensive care unit.

There are currently 14 employees from the Kalgoorlie Health Campus who are having to self-isolate after coming into contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Negotiations are under way to try organise special flights for out of state ex-passengers from the Vasco da Gama.

WA deputy chief health officer Robyn Lawrence said the passengers would be let off Rottnest Island and out of hotels at 4.30pm today.

“Many of the interstate passengers won’t be able to return home due to a lack of flights that are currently available,” she said.

“I want to reassure all of those passengers and their families that we will continue to care for them to provide their accommodation and food and get them home to their families and their homes as soon as possible.”

Minister for Health Roger Cook said there were ongoing discussions to organise flights to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

“There are some flights scheduled early next week, rather than have a rush on we’d rather have people transitioning away from Perth in a steady process,” he said.

Mr Cook said some passengers may need to do another 14 days of quarantine depending on what rules had been set in their home state.

He said there had not been any closures of beaches but if people did flaunt social distancing measures than police and local governments would close them.

Mr Cook said it was his understanding the Artania was scheduled to leave Fremantle Port by April 18.

He said he was confident in how the virus was being managed on the ship with crew members being removed from self-isolation on-board if they showed symptoms of the virus.

“What we’re doing is protecting the WA community, making sure we can maximise the health services available to WA patients and at the same time doing our bit to support the Commonwealth Government (with Artania),” Mr Cook said.

The Health Minister said he didn’t think it was going to be possible to eradicate the disease.

“What we want to do is control it,” he said.

“These numbers now give us encouragement that we’ll be able to do that.”

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