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The investigation into the Ruby Princess cruise ship continues.
The Ruby Princess, which is operated by Princess Cruises, is currently at the center of a homicide investigation following the outbreak of a deadly coronavirus outbreak linked to the ship. New reports now indicate that the ship’s senior doctor recently spoke with investigators, saying that she was “surprised” that passengers were allowed to disembark before their test results had been returned.
Dr. Ilse von Watzdorf, who is quarantined aboard the ship, told investigators she would not have let passengers off the ship without proper COVID-19 testing, The Guardian reports.
In response to a question about passengers disembarking the ship, she reportedly said, “I was surprised that we were allowed to do that without waiting for the results to come through. If it was my decision I would’ve perhaps waited like the previous time.”
When asked about a crew member who presented with a high fever, Watzdorf confirmed that the symptoms were in line with COVID-19.
On April 4, New South Wales Police Commissioner Mick Fuller confirmed a criminal probe into the disembarkation of the Ruby Princess, which is operated by Princess Cruises, itself a subsidiary of the Carnival Corporation. At the time, the ship was linked to at least 662 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths. By Thursday, the death toll had risen to 15, Reuters reports.
In the weeks that followed the ship’s docking, controversy had ignited over the disembarkation of nearly 2,700 passengers on March 19. New South Wales Health officials said at the time that about a dozen passengers had felt unwell and been tested for COVID-19 — though other passengers were not alerted of this update, ultimately departing the ship without screening, and then traveling home.
Police in Australia had also recently seized the black box from the ship as part of the investigation.
Fox News' Michael Bartiromo and Janine Puhak contributed to this report.