Cruise worker becomes youngest to die of corona-virus in Australia

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The cruise ship Artania is seen docked in Fremantle harbour in March. Source: AAP

A crew member from the coronavirus-plagued Artania cruise ship has died in a Perth hospital, taking Western Australia’s toll to seven.

Health Minister Roger Cook said the 42-year-old man from the Philippines died at Royal Perth Hospital on Thursday.

“His family have been notified and were put in contact with that crew member via translators … and they were able to reach out to him in his dying days,” Mr Cook told reporters on Friday.

“My thoughts and sympathies are with his family and friends and fellow crew members in what must undoubtedly be a very difficult time for them.”

The ship’s captain, Morten Hansen said the crew member had been with the company since 2006 and most recently served as a motorman, describing his death as “heartbreaking”.

Premier Mark McGowan earlier said the man’s death was very sad but it was still in the interests of everyone for the ship to leave as soon as possible.

“The Commonwealth has issued them with a directive to leave tomorrow,” he told reporters.

“If I was a crew member of that ship I would want to get home.”

It was reported on Tuesday three foreigners on the plagued German-based cruise liner tested positive.

The final passengers disembarked from the cruise early this month. It remained docked in Fremantle despite being told to sail back to Germany.

The ship remained at the port in Fremantle for over three weeks, with around 450 crew on board.

However, Mr Hansen confirmed the German liner was on track to leave on Saturday afternoon, adding the vessel was waiting for fresh provisions.

Australia’s death toll is now at 65 after another death was also recorded in Tasmania on Friday.

More than 6500 people have contracted the disease in the country. source: Australian Associated Press

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