COVID-19 impact: Lack of crucial supplies for crew onboard

Chennai Port bans arrival of unscheduled cruise ships after COVID-19 outbreak. Credit: BALASUBRAMANIAN, K.

As the COVID-19 crisis worsens, crew may be prevented from taking onboard essential medical supplies and provisions, warns the International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA), a non-governmental organisation member of the International Maritime Organization.

Due to the decision being made at certain ports combatting the pandemic to refuse entry and disembarkation of certain vessels, ships have had to sail on without taking on vital supplies. These can include medicines, spare parts, masks, overalls and PPE equipment. This could have safety and compliance implications onboard, as crew will not be able to carry out needed maintenance works in proper safety gear.

“Ships need supplying and while it is important that our members adhere to the health advice and terms and conditions of the ports they are servicing, ship owners and port and terminal operators need to work closely with our sector to ensure their ships and crew are looked after effectively,” said Saeed Al Malik, president ISSA.

The ISSA has already issued a COVID-19 guidance to its 1,600 members on how to keep safe when delivering supplies to vessels at port.