Coronavirus update – 22 March 2020

22 March 2020

Dr Mark Veitch, Director of Public Health

Five persons were diagnosed with Coronavirus infection in Tasmania today, in addition to those confirmed yesterday and overnight.

This brings the number of confirmed cases to 15 in the South, two in the North and two in the North West and three who lived interstate, a total of 22 cases statewide.

Public Health Services is investigating each of the latest cases to identify and contact their close contacts so they can be placed in quarantine for 14 days after contact with the case.

All the five latest cases have recently returned to Tasmania from overseas. They comprise two persons recently returned from the United States, 2 persons from the Ruby Princess cruise that arrived in Sydney on 19 March, and 1 person from the Ovation of the Seas cruise that arrived in Sydney on 18 March 2020.

These cases diagnosed in Tasmania reflect the rapidly increasing incidence of Coronavirus infection throughout the world, and the occurrence of cases and outbreaks of Coronavirus infection on cruise ships. These cases show why measures to quarantine persons recently arrived from overseas were put in place, followed by measures to quarantine persons arriving from mainland Australia.

Public Health Services is speaking daily with passengers from the Ruby Princess cruise who are all required to be in quarantine until 2 April 2020. Passengers on the Ovation of the Seas cruise have already been contacted by NSW Health and advised to quarantine at their final destination. Public Health Services will also contact these passengers tomorrow.

The situation with coronavirus is changing regularly. People can stay up to date by visiting the Tasmanian Department of Health coronavirus website at or the Australian Government Department of Health website

Anyone requiring more information about coronavirus should contact the National Coronavirus Health Information Line on 1800 020 080.