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Ruby Princess Passenger 7th Person To Die Of Coronavirus In NSW As Cruise Cases Rise

NSW has recorded its seventh coronavirus death, with a woman in her 70s the latest to die of the virus.

The woman was a passenger of the Ruby Princess cruise ship, which was allowed to dock in Sydney last week. NSW Health confirmed on Tuesday afternoon she had died earlier that morning, after being transported directly to hospital from the ship on March 19.

It brings Australia's coronavirus death toll to eight, with one death in Western Australia joining the seven in NSW.

"NSW Health passes on our condolences to the family of this patient," the department said.

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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says the state has seen a substantial increase in coronavirus diagnoses, with the state recording 149 new cases overnight.

NSW Health confirmed there had now been 107 cases of coronavirus diagnosedin NSW in passengers of the Ruby Princess, with at least 26 more in other states. The decision to let the cruise dock and unload passengers into the community has been heavily criticised, with NSW and federal bodies blaming the other for the decision.

"It should be noted, no cases of COVID-19 had been identified by doctors on board before docking. Five people who had displayed influenza-like illness were tested in Wellington, New Zealand on 14 March, and all were negative for COVID-19," NSW Health claimed.

More than 100 cases have been liked to the Ruby Princess cruise ship. Image: AAP

It was also revealed that 13 cases in the state are linked to the Ovation of the Seas cruise, and another seven to the Voyager of the Seas, both of which also docked last week.

Of the 818 coronavirus cases in NSW (as of 8pm Monday), NSW Health said 12 of them were in hospital intensive care units, with eight of those requiring ventilator units.

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Two teachers  at Thornleigh's Normanhurst West Public School were diagnosed with coronavirus on 21 March and 23 March.

"Close contacts at the school have been identified and are being contacted placed in self-isolation. The school will remain closed today," NSW Health said.

Another three cases at the Dorothy Henderson Lodge have  also been confirmed, for a total of 11 residents and five staff.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said earlier on Tuesday that NSW was in a "critical" stage of the coronavirus response.

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Some prisoners would be released early and police could be granted new powers under sweeping emergency laws proposed in NSW, as the state scrambles to deal with Australia's biggest coronavirus toll.

Her government has introduced a range of  sweeping measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the outbreak, including allowing some prisoners to be released early, and new powers for police to force people back into their homes if they breach self-isolation or quarantine orders.