Coronavirus Updates for Seafarers 17 March

Managing COVID-19 cases onboard

Increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases are now reported in countries across all continents except Antarctica, and the rate of new cases outside of China has outpaced the rate in China. All ships undertaking international voyages, and particularly those calling at ports in affected areas, are advised to develop a written plan for disease outbreak management, preferable in close contact with a medical service supplier, covering issues such as:

  • how to identify a suspected case of COVID-19;
  • an isolation plan describing the location(s) where suspected cases should be temporary individually isolated until disembarkation;
  • hygiene rules for the isolation room including use of personal protective equipment (PPE), cleaning and disinfection procedures and waste management;
  • options for onboard treatment and medical equipment inventories; and
  •  management of close contacts.

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Coronavirus taking a toll on Goan seamen

Margao: Coronavirus is taking a toll on Goans employed on cruise liners, with the ripple effect of the spread of the infection being felt on the major global shipping companies, which have now suspended their operations for upto two months.

The development attains significance, as several Goans, who are presently on such ships remain stranded there, while many others who had returned home stare at a long stint without any employment.

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CORONAVIRUS: Covid-19: A guide to South Africa’s new ‘state of disaster’

On Sunday night, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a ‘national state of disaster’ to enable the government to introduce measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 within South Africa. These are the measures now in place.

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Coronavirus, OPEC effects provide some solace for suffering shippers

The credit-hit shipping industry is drawing some comfort from the collapse of OPEC+ and coronavirus-led demand weakness thanks to cheaper marine fuel costs, with prices for VLSFO in Europe having experienced a greater-than-expected drop, plunging by half since the start of the year.

While demand weakness casts a long shadow out to sea, it is a far cry from the fears of price spikes post IMO-2020 when the sector was rushing to stockpile compliant fuels and shippers were still in unchartered waters with VLSFO.

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