Ship sail

Tasks worry about cruise ship, festival


Passengers on a cruise ship in Hobart are being held on board and tested for COVID-19 after two confirmed cases.

Public health officials are also concerned about the growing number of infections associated with a music festival in Launceston, 25 of which have been linked to the event so far.

Tasmanian Prime Minister Peter Gutwein said the two people who tested positive on the Coral Discoverer had been removed from the ship.

About 60 crew and 30 staff remain on board and are tested for the virus with contact tracing to continue over the next two days.

The ship’s operators have activated their COVID response plan, to manage the epidemic and ensure the absence of a broader risk for the community at large.

The Prime Minister said people who attended the Launceston in Revelation party at Inveresk Park on December 27 and 28 were also urged to watch carefully for symptoms with two dozen infections now linked to the event which attracted around 10,000 fans.

“I want to be very clear (that) this doesn’t mean that everyone who attended Party in the Apocalypse has to come to a testing clinic or have a rapid antigen test,” he said on Monday.

“But if you were at this event, you should use your common sense and watch for symptoms and, if symptomatic, please call the public health hotline and go for a PCR test.”

The two areas of concern come as Tasmania reported a record 466 new cases of COVID-19, although Mr Gutwein said the majority showed only mild symptoms.

Only two people infected with the virus are hospitalized and both were admitted for other reasons.

Active infections rose to 1,691 cases, but the prime minister said about 50% of people choose not to use the COVID service at home because they weren’t symptomatic or feeling particularly unwell.

“It is important to note that at the national level, as the number of cases increases due to the transmissibility of this disease, the number of hospitals and intensive care presentations represent only a fraction of these overall cases.” , said Mr. Gutwein.

“I can understand that people are a little anxious, it’s important that people stay calm.

“We need to make sure we take this step carefully, sensibly and responsibly as we manage the transition program that we have underway right now. “