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‘Somebody has to pay’: Daughter of Ruby Princess passengers reveals her parents’ anguish

The daughter of two Ruby Princess passengers who contracted coronavirus from the ship has revealed to Ben Fordham the extent of her family’s harrowing experience.

On Thursday March 19, 2700 people were allowed to disembark the Ruby Princess cruise ship before testing was completed.

Five of the 21 reported coronavirus deaths have been passengers from the ship, and 440 diagnoses – a tenth of all Australian cases – are connected to it.

Lisa Ida’s mother and father both contracted coronavirus after holidaying aboard the Ruby Princess.

She tells Ben Fordham her mother was hospitalised for breathing difficulties, while her father, a Vietnam veteran, languished alone at home without ever being offered mental health support.

“He is now falling into a depression because he’s worried about his wife, and no one could go there and help him.

“She was in hospital, we were not allowed to talk to her, we were not allowed to even leave a message to let her know we’re thinking of her.”

Ms Ida says the poor communication from NSW Health compounded the problem, with her parents only being informed about sick fellow passengers via email more than a day after disembarking.

“My daughter has MS and is immunocompromised, so if we had let [my parents] into the house, to use the bathroom or have a cup of tea, it could’ve been detrimental for her as well.

“Somebody has to pay for it. Somebody is at fault, and someone has to take responsibility.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Image: Steven Saphore/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images