Death of Ruby Princess passenger lifts Australia's toll

Ruby Princess visited Dunedin earlier this month. Photo: Twitter
The Ruby Princess.
An 81-year-old woman who travelled on the coronavirus-plagued Ruby Princess cruise ship has died in New South Wales, taking the state's toll to 47 and Australia's to 98.

The woman died on Tuesday, NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant told reporters on Wednesday, having disembarked the Ruby Princess in Sydney on March 19.

It's the first Covid-19 death to be reported in Australia since May 5.

The ship had returned to Australia after a trip to New Zealand which included a stop in Akaroa.

"It's upsetting to know people are still perishing, dying from this horrible virus and we can't imagine what families are going through," NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

NSW recorded six new Covid-19 cases in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday from 8100 tests, including three health authorities fear were infected in the community.

Two new cases were contacts of those connected to the Newmarch House aged care home Covid-19 cluster, where 16 residents have died and 71 people have caught the virus.

No new Covid-19 cases were reported in NSW in the previous 24-hour period as state parliament resumed to consider a number of measures to help tackle the coronavirus crisis.

Ms Berejiklian on Wednesday reiterated success for NSW should be perceived as a healthy balance between economic and social activity and manageable case numbers.

The state has to date recorded 3059 Covid-19 cases, with seven in intensive care.

"We have to accept a manageable number of cases will allow us to have people keep their jobs, we don't want to see more people go into distress," Ms Berejiklian said.

"We also need to think about how our economy comes back in some form whilst maintaining the overall health of our citizens, and that's the tough balance.

"In NSW we feel quite armed with options before us because we have done well with a population of our size and with the number of cases."

NSW parliament resumed on Tuesday with the coalition government introducing bills proposing to amend about 40 Acts, following the passage of emergency legislation in March.

Among the amendments were a payroll tax exemption for JobKeeper payments to stood-down workers and changes to annual and long service leave laws.

Students this week resumed at least one day per week of face-to-face schooling in NSW while restrictions ease on Friday, with five visitors allowed in homes and 10 people permitted at outdoor gatherings and in cafes and restaurants.

But Ms Berejiklian said pubs would not yet open.

"Obviously, sitting down and having a meal and exercising social distancing is different to people having a drink or otherwise at a pub," Ms Berejiklian said.

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