Australian officials have admitted they failed to carry out mandatory health checks aboard a cruise ship that has become the source of one of the country’s largest clusters of coronaviruses.
Andrew Metcalfe, the secretary of the Department of Agriculture, told the Senate Covid-19 committee on Tuesday that the protocols had not been followed.
More than 2,650 people have been allowed to leave the Ruby Princess without being tested.
This resulted in 28 deaths and around 1,000 infections in Australia and abroad.
Health checks carried out by officials from the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment were supposed to be a last line of defense against transmission after coronavirus cases were discovered on the Ruby Princess.
But the ship was allowed to dock in Sydney and its passengers were allowed to leave without being tested, Mr Metcalfe admitted.