Medical staff at the former Inpex camp quarantine facility in Howard Springs. Picture: Glenn Campbell
Medical staff at the former Inpex camp quarantine facility in Howard Springs. Picture: Glenn Campbell

Six infected cruise evacuees recover, now cleared

SIX of the 10 Diamond Princess evacuees first diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Howard Springs quarantine have since recovered from and been cleared of the virus, says Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

Minister Hunt confirmed on the ABC's News Breakfast show that six infected Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees who were sent back to their home states for treatment are now cleared and have been allowed to go home.

"Six of those 10 have cleared the virus and have returned home, very sadly of course we've lost James Kwan, a 78-year-old man from Western Australia," he said.

Speaking today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that, so far, there had been 34 cases of coronavirus recorded in Australia, including the 10 among the Diamond Princess evacuees.

Mr Morrison said that of those 34 infected people, 21 had already fully recovered.

Mr Hunt said those 21 included the initial 15 people who were diagnosed in Australia "who had come from or been associated with Wuhan" and the six recovered victims evacuated from the Diamond Princess.

 

 

Mr Kwan, who became the first Australian to die after contracting coronavirus, was among the total of 10 evacuees who were medevacced to their individual home states for further treatement from Howard Springs last month.

Mr Kwan died at Perth's Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Colleagues described him as a pioneer in the Australian tourism industry, founding specialist inbound travel agency Wel-Travel in 1988.

The doctor who treated Mr Kwan in Perth said he was at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus due to other existing health issues and his age.

The remaining group of Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees in Howard Springs are due to finish their 14-day quarantine period on Thursday.

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