Woman’s shock at infection failings as sister mourned

THE sister of a woman who died after becoming infected with COVID-19 on-board the Ruby Princess cruise ship has lashed out at authorities' lack of infection control in preventing the deadly disease spreading.

Caboolture resident Karla Rose Lake, 75, died in Caboolture Hospital about 2am yesterday morning, becoming the third Queenslander claimed by the coronavirus pandemic.

Karla Rose Lake, 75, was a passenger onboard the Ruby Princess. She died from COVID-19 in Caboolture Hospital at 2am on Sunday, March 29.
Karla Rose Lake, 75, was a passenger onboard the Ruby Princess. She died from COVID-19 in Caboolture Hospital at 2am on Sunday, March 29.

Mrs Rose's husband Graeme Lake, 75 - who was also infected with the virus on-board the cruise ship, before it berthed in Sydney last week - remains in a critical condition in the hospital.

 

Passengers freely disembarked the vessel after the cruise was deemed "low risk" by NSW Health.

Since then, however, at least 171 coronavirus cases in NSW and 122 interstate can be traced to the ship.

Karla Rose Lake, 75, was a passenger onboard the Ruby Princess. She died from COVID-19 in Caboolture Hospital at 2am on Sunday, March 29.
Karla Rose Lake, 75, was a passenger onboard the Ruby Princess. She died from COVID-19 in Caboolture Hospital at 2am on Sunday, March 29.

Mrs Lake's sister Yvonne Cunningham, who lives near Innisfail, said the couple was allowed to go ashore in Sydney, take a bus to the airport, wander around the domestic terminal for hours, then fly to Brisbane where they were collected by family members.

All family members are now in self-isolation at home.

Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
Cruise ship passengers disembark from the Princess Cruises owned Ruby Princess at Circular Quay in Sydney, Thursday, March 19, 2020. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Ms Cunningham said the cruise was a 75th birthday present from her brother-in-law to her sister.

"When I spoke to Graeme (this morning), Karla's body was still in the room with him - they were in the one room - and they hadn't removed the body," she said. "He was becoming very distressed."

Ms Cunningham said her family was stunned at the lack of infection control prior.

"These people had come from a lot of other ports, and there were no (customs) officers looking at quarantined goods or contraband, nor any health officers checking temperatures of people - nothing," she said.

Originally published as Far North woman's shock at infection failings as sister mourned


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