The coronavirus outbreak continues to grow in China and beyond and whilst infections remain concentrated in Central China, at least 16 countries globally have now reported infections including the US, Thailand, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Currently, restrictions on travel are in force in ten cities in the central China. The Chinese authorities have taken a number of measures in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus including cancelling many public events.
At this time there are no reported complications for shipping operations for the time being, however, if your vessel is calling a Chinese port we recommend that you keep up to date with the WHO reports and recommendations as they contain the latest information on the outbreak and measures being taken by the local authorities. You can find this information via the link: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
We also recommend that proper planning arrangements are made in co-ordination with the agents and port authorities regarding the arrangements during port operations, including measures to limit infection or contamination which may be imposed or advised.
We also draw your attention to the general recommendations provided by the WHO as follows:
- Washing of hands using soap and water and alcohol-based hand rub;
- When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with a tissue, and throw away the tissue after use and wash your hands immediately thereafter;
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has fever and cough;
- If anyone on board who has recently been in any area with a risk of infection (including airports) has a fever, coughing and difficulty breathing seek medical advice;
- Avoid markets in areas currently experiencing cases of coronavirus;
- Avoid raw or undercooked animal products and prevent cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.
We will continue to monitor matters and will provide an update on any shipping related developments.