Duncan McNab investigates the Ruby Princess fiasco: how negligence and corporate greed led to death and disaster.
In the early hours of Thursday 19 March 2020, the luxury cruise liner Ruby Princess docked at Sydney's Circular Quay, the gateway to Australia. Hours later, 2700 passengers disembarked. Yet in the middle of a pandemic sweeping the planet, there were no health checks. Over the next few days, the passengers got some bad news. The COVID-19 virus had infected some on the ship, and it spread rapidly. Eventually over 900 passengers and crew would be diagnosed, and 28 would die from the disease. Months of investigation and a Special Commission uncovered a series of catastrophic mistakes, from negligence to the corporate greed of an industry with a history of only caring for its bottom line. This 'super-spreader incident' was a viral bomb that exploded in the heart of Australia's biggest city - and a disaster that could and should have been prevented. In his page-turning book, investigative journalist Duncan McNab explores the causes of the spectacular quarantine failure, the cruise industry, the lives of the victims and their families, and the turbulent politics of blame.