Coronavirus advice issued to crew and ship companies

An ambulance staff makes way towards a health check post in Wuhan in central China's. Credit: BARCROFT MEDIA VIA GETTY IMAGES

The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) has issued advice for shipping companies on the outbreak of the coronavirus, first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei province, China.

This follows an alert published by P&I clubs regarding the spread of the virus in China and neighboring countries.

The advice is as follows:

·       Do not restrict embarkation/disembarkation of seafarers in non-affected ports

·       Do not restrict necessary ship visits by port agents, chaplains, service personnel and others

·       Do not visit food markets in China. Avoid provision of fish and poultry in China

·       Do not consume raw eggs, milk, meat

·       For galley: Observe strict food hygiene to avoid cross-contamination

·       Store facial protection for all crew (5 pieces per person)

·       Provide influenza vaccination, alcohol-based hand rub and facial protection to ship inspector and other company employees who travel to China

·       If a person on board falls sick AND has been travelling to affected areas 2-12 days before embarkation, the person must stay in his cabin. Consult a medical doctor in the next port

·       If a sick person is on board of the ship, fill the Maritime Declaration of Health and notify port authority

The Chinese authorities have installed travel restrictions in the affected areas in china and health measures such as fever detecting appliances are installed at Chinese airports, bus, train stations, and ports.

Cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, USA, France and Australia.

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