February 1, 2020
Coronavirus outbreak: Key protection measures for seafarers
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), USCG and Transport Malta, following the rest of the shipping industry, provide their advice to crew members on how to be protected by the coronavirus.
ITF Advice for crew members
- Encourage all onboard to practice hand and respiratory hygiene especially when coughing or sneezing.
- Crew should use hand sanitiser/wash hands following contact with any passenger or other crew.
- If on a layover in a country with a known coronavirus outbreak, crew are advised to remain in hotel accommodation as much as possible and practice hand and respiratory hygiene and safe food practices.
The following advice from the International Maritime Health Association is more specific to the maritime industry, seafarers and dock workers:
- 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 and avoid provision of fish and poultry in China.
- Do not consume raw eggs, milk, meat.
- Observe strict food hygiene to avoid cross contamination
- Ensure facial protection is provided for all crew (5 pieces /per person)
- Provide influenza vaccination, alcohol-based hand sanitiser and facial protection for ship inspectors and other crew who travel to China.
- If a crew member on board falls sick and has been travelling to affected areas 2-12 days before embarkation, the person must stay in his/her cabin.
- If a crew member is sick on board a ship, fill out the maritime declaration of health and notify the relevant port authority and consult a healthcare providers in the next port.
In addition, the USCG issued more advise concerning the Coronavirus outbreak, as such:
- Vessel representatives are required to report sick or deceased crew/passengers within the last 15 days to the CDC under 42 CFR 71.21.
- The Coast Guard will continue to review all “Notice of Arrivals” in accordance with current policies and will communicate any concerns stemming from sick or deceased crew or passengers to their Coast Guard chain of command and the CDC quarantine station who will coordinate with local health authorities.
- Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard boarding teams of any ill crew members on board their vessel prior to the Coast Guard embarking and Boarding Teams should verify vessel illnesses with CDC if concerns arise.
- Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with section 5310 Procedures for Vessel Quarantine and Isolation, and Section 5320 – Procedures for Security Segregation of Vessels in their Area Maritime Security Plan.
- Local industry stakeholders, in partnership with their Coast Guard Captain of the Port, should review and be familiar with their Marine Transportation System Recovery Plan.
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