Shipyard takes coronavirus precautions on ship undergoing maintenance

OOCL Luxembourg. Credit: CSBC Corporation

A container ship operated by OOCL was disinfected and other precautions against the novel coronavirus were taken when the vessel arrived in CSBC Corporation’s Kaohsiung shipyard for routine maintenance.

OOCL Luxembourg, an 8,063-TEU vessel serving the Asia-US West Coast route, had departed Ningbo, China, on 4 February 2020, for the Kaohsiung yard, arriving on 6 February.

A spokesperson for CSBC Corporation told SAS that the Taiwanese shipbuilder has measures in place to protect its workers, adding that OOCL Luxembourg complied with Taiwan International Ports Corporation’s guidelines regarding ships that arrived from China, as well as vessels manned by Chinese nationals.

The spokesperson said: “All CSBC workers have to wear face masks, be disinfected with alcohol, have their temperatures taken prior to entering the ship, and have their entries recorded.”

As the coronavirus has an incubation period of up to 14 days, CSBC said that its workers will not be allowed to have physical contact with the OOCL Luxembourg crew during the first fortnight of the maintenance works.

The CSBC spokesperson added that the OOCL Luxembourg was disinfected on 10 February.

He said: “Chinese seafarers on board will be prevented from leaving the vessel while it is at Taiwanese shipbuilder CSBC Corporation for maintenance servicing. We also have security personnel stationed at the gangway to ensure this.”

An outbreak of coronavirus originated in Wuhan, capital of China’s Hubei province, and has spread throughout China, to across Asia, parts of Europe, Australia, the UAE and North America. In China, nearly 40,000 people have been infected and more than 900 have died, with the death toll surpassing the SARS outbreak in 2003.

In response, governments around the world have quarantined ships that called at Chinese ports in the last 14 days, or restricted access to people arriving from China.

OOCL is now part of Chinese state-controlled shipping group China COSCO Shipping Corporation.