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Australian COVID-19 cases spike, cruise with sick passengers denied entry

SYDNEY: Australians began living under strict new lockdown rules on Monday (Mar 23) as coronavirus cases topped 1,600 and authorities denied entry to a cruise ship carrying hundreds on board complaining of respiratory illnesses.
As new restrictions closing non-essential services came into effect, there were clear signs of economic and social stress with long queues forming outside offices of the main welfare agency across the country. Australia News

After reporting only a gradual spread in January, the number of Australia COVID-19 cases in Australia now appears to be tracking the much sharper increases seen elsewhere with the most populous states of New South Wales and Victoria recording the fastest rises.
Most states have now closed their borders to travellers from other parts of the country and effected their own lockdown laws, in addition to the national curbs announced on Sunday.

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Western Australia on Monday banned passengers on board the Swiss-owned MSC Magnifica cruise ship from disembarking. Australia medical News
Of 1,700 passengers on board the ship, more than 250 have complained of respiratory illnesses. It was due to dock at Western Australia's Fremantle port as early as Monday evening.
That decision comes days after 2,700 passengers disembarked from the Ruby Princess cruise ship in Sydney harbour, with 48 on board subsequently testing positive for the virus.
"I will not allow what happened in Sydney to happen here," West Australian Premier Mark McGowan said. "We will not allow passengers or crew to wander the streets."
A spokesman for MSC Cruises did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Australia Press Release Distribution 

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