By Colin Packham
SYDNEY (Reuters) – A coronavirus outbreak in Australia’s remote southern island state of Tasmania likely originated from the Ruby Princess cruise ship, a government report published on Thursday concluded, as the national death toll rose to 91.
Australia – home to 25.7 million people – has confirmed about 6,700 cases of the novel coronavirus, significantly below figures reported in the United States and other hotspots, a result the government attributes to strict social distancing restrictions and widespread testing.
Nearly all of Australia’s coronavirus fatalities have come in clusters, including one on Tasmania, the state with the country’s highest death rate per capita from the virus.
Home to little more than 500,000 people, Tasmania has recorded 12 deaths from coronavirus, and all but two were on Thursday linked to the cruise ship.
The Ruby Princess – owned by a unit of Carnival (NYSE:) Corp, the world’s largest…