Australia's coronavirus cases soar past 1,000

The number of coronavirus cases in NSW has ballooned to 436 after 83 new cases were identified in the state, taking the national total past the 1000 mark.

The increase comes as the NSW government discovered four cases of cruise ships disembarking in Sydney having had infected passengers on board.

It represents a spike in the number of new COVID-19 diagnoses - with 46 recorded in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm Thursday night before the 83 new cases were discovered in the 24 hours up until 8pm Friday night.

Victoria’s number of cases has grown to 229 while Queensland also passed the 200 mark on Saturday morning.

Nurses are seen at a coronavirus clinic in South Australia. Source: AAP

"The majority of cases diagnosed in NSW were either acquired overseas or are a contact of a known case," NSW Health said.

"Seventy-four cases have been locally acquired without an identified source of infection. Investigations to establish any links between cases in order to prevent further spread are ongoing."

Meanwhile, NSW Health is scrambling to contact thousands of people who were onboard four cruise ships which visited Sydney this month, which carried passengers which were infected with coronavirus.

It comes a day after it was revealed that the Ruby Princess ship was allowed to dock in Sydney with four people carrying the potentially deadly virus.

Like the Ruby Princess, in all cases passengers were allowed to disembark without being tested.

Two of the cases happened on two separate journeys of the Voyager of the Seas, with the other two cases coming on the Ovation of the Seas and the Celebrity Solstice.

"The risk assessment processes developed by NSW Health for cruise ships have been far in excess of those in other jurisdictions," NSW Health said.

"All travellers from international cruises must self-quarantine for 14 days after disembarkation."

Meanwhile, the NSW government has signed a public health order to restrict movement to Lord Howe Island.

Beginning at 5am Sunday morning, access to the island will be restricted to locals, health and other essential service workers.

People arriving on the island will be made to self quarantine for 14 days with the order to run to at least June 18.

More to come.

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