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Latest positive test may have carried 'dormant' virus for 12 weeks

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A passenger of the Ruby Princess who tested positive to coronavirus is suspected to have carried the “dormant” virus for almost 12 weeks before falling ill.

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The woman was diagnosed in Cairns on Monday, taking the total number of Queensland cases to 1057, with only 12 remaining active.

Authorities suspect she is the latest coronavirus case to have carried the inactive virus and become sick weeks after exposure.

Last week another woman in Queensland was diagnosed two months after returning from India.

“We are monitoring that very closely to work out if it’s directly related to the Ruby Princess or if it was acquired in some other way,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Health Minister told AAP the woman had returned a negative result to a recent test, and it was not possible she was contagious since she left the ship on March 8.

The new case comes as the Premier continues to stand firm on her decision to keep the state’s border closed, despite the falling number of cases across Australia.

The move has frustrated tourism operators who rely on interstate visitors, and leaders of the southern states.

Palaszczuk will meet with key tourism stakeholders, as well as council, theme park operators and members of the hospitality sector to discuss a further easing of restrictions, particularly in restaurants and cafes.

“If the COVID-safe plans are in place, they will be allowed to have more (people) in,” she said, adding that numbers would depend on the size of the venue.

“At the end of this month we’ll be able to make that decision, but it’s very positive.”

-AAP

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