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HOT PORT NEWS from GAC

Wednesday, 05 February 2020 | 20:00

2019 new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Panama Canal, Panama

The Panama Canal Authority is concerned with the recent outbreak of the 2019 new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has generated an International Maritime Health Association Advisory.

The signs and symptoms associated with the infection with this virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in more severe cases, it could lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The average incubation period for the Coronavirus is approximately seven days, and infection from human-to-human may occur during the incubation period, before the infected person shows any signs of illness.

The following countries have reported confirmed cases of the virus: China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, United States of America, France, and Australia.

It is imperative that vessels arriving at Panama Canal waters, for port calls or transit, after having called at ports located in any of these countries, or any other country with confirmed cases of the virus, and having identified any suspected case on board demonstrating any of the above-mentioned symptoms, report this condition through the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA), within 30 days prior to their arrival. This is necessary in order to take appropriate measures to prevent the possible spread of this virus in the Republic of Panama.

Such measures include, but are not limited to, boarding the vessel by sanitary health authorities in order to investigate any cases; use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, by ACP personnel, or holding the vessel in quarantine as a precautionary measure.

(For information about operations in Panama, contact GAC Panama at [email protected])

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory To Shipping No.A-04-2020

Novel Coronavirus – new instructions
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, United States

U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters has issued instructions in light of the Presidential Proclamation related to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak.

As advised in the U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Virginia, Marine Safety Information Bulletin No.:20-026, new required 14-day measures are as follows:

  • Passenger vessels or any vessel carrying passengers that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked passengers who have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States. If all passengers exceed 14 days since being in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) and are symptom free, the vessel will be permitted to enter the United States to conduct normal operations. These temporary measures are in place to safeguard the American public.
  • Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) or embarked crewmembers who have been in China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau) within the last 14 days, with no sick crewmembers, will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, with restrictions. Crewmembers on these vessels will be required under COTP authority to remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations.

Vessel representatives are reminded of the following requirements to report hazardous conditions and illnesses:

  • The master of a ship destined for the Virginia Captain of the Port zone shall report to the CDC, the occurrence, on board, of any death or any ill person among passengers or crew (including those who have disembarked or have been removed) during the 15-day period preceding the date of expected arrival in accordance with regulations (42 CFR 71.21). The responsible CDC station for the Port of Virginia is the CDC Washington DC Station, which can be reached at 703-661-1320.
  • The owner, agent, master, operator, or person in charge of a vessel is required to immediately notify the nearest Coast Guard Sector whenever there is a hazardous condition aboard the vessel (33 CFR 160.216). While the presence of a person with Coronavirus-like symptoms does not by itself constitute a hazardous condition, vessel operators should report suspected cases or other unusual circumstances whenever they are in doubt. Make local notifications to the Coast Guard by contacting the Sector Virginia Command Center at 757-483-8567.
  • Vessel masters shall inform Coast Guard and Customs boarding teams of any ill crewmembers onboard.

(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at [email protected])

Source: U.S. Coast Guard, Sector Virginia, Marine Safety Information Bulletin No.20-026 dated February 2, 2020

Coronavirus measures updates (5 February)
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Australia

The Australian Border Force has advised that the 14-day quarantine period for vessels that has left mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 commences from the date of departure from China, and NOT from arrival in Australia (unless there are crew with symptoms).

Other updates from individual ports include:

PORTLAND
The Health Declaration form must be completed and sent to the Port of Portland office by all vessels prior to the pilot boarding the vessel.

PORT WALCOTT
Rio Tinto requests all vessels to send through a copy of Bio Security Document and Customs forms 13 and 3B, or last vessels port visited and crew nationalities.

PORT HEDLAND
BHP have amended the pilot pre-arrival form with added questions about if the ship had been to china and all crew are healthy. They have also created a Letter to Master Coronavirus & BHP Crew List Health Final. Vessels are to complete these forms including the crew health check 1 day before the vessels arrives at anchorage.
ABF Port Hedland have advised that vessel that arriving from last port China can still enter the anchorage at Port Hedland to wait for the 14 day quarantine period.
Qube have advised that all vessels out of China are directed to have documentation completed on the berth the vessel is working instead of ships office, thus reducing exposure to people and surfaces.

For further details and updates, and information about operations in Australia, contact GAC Australia at [email protected]

Ports on Cyclone Watch
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, North West Australia

The ports of Broome, Port Hedland, Dampier and Onslow are on Cyclone Watch, as a potential Tropical Cyclone forming off the North West Australian.

According to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Tropical Cyclone Information Bulletin issued at 8:54am WST today (5 February), at 8:00am the tropical low was located near 16.5S 124.0E, 100 km north northeast of Derby and 245 km northeast of Broome, and is moving west at 15 kilometres per hour.

It is expected to track towards the west and move offshore from the northwest Kimberley coast today and develop into a tropical cyclone on Thursday. During Friday, the cyclone is forecast to turn towards the Pilbara coast and intensify before reaching the coast on Saturday.

Scattered heavy rainfall is likely over the northwest Kimberley today. Squally weather is expected over the Dampier Peninsula north of Broome today and early Thursday. Gales are forecast along the Pilbara coast later on Friday ahead of a possible severe cyclone impact on Saturday.

For information about operations in Australia contact GAC Australia at [email protected]

Guidelines to seaports to prevent spread of 2019-nCoV ARD
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Philippines

The Philippines’ Department of Health has issued a new circular giving guidelines at all seaports to prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus Acute Respiratory Disease (2019-nCoV ARD).

The Bureau of Quarantine is implementing the following measures for all maritime vessels at all Philippine seaports:

CRUISE VESSELS

  • Cruise ships with passengers, regardless of nationality, from China, Macau and Hong Kong SAR or that have passed through in the past 14 days may not dock at any Philippine port.
  • Cruise ships that have not called at or passed through ports in China, Macau and Hong Kong SAR within the past 14 days are allowed to dock in Philippine ports. However, they must undergo complete screening measures, submission of duly-accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health, and other pertinent documents related to 2019-nCoV ARD.
  • Cruise ships allowed to dock must declare all travel itineraries/excursions in the Philippines.
  • The master of the vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms. If there are any cases of individuals on board suffering from flu-like symptoms, the master must report it immediately to the Quarantine Medical Officer (QMO) for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimise the spread of infection on board.
  • The QMO will conduct triaging of cases.
  • No Filipinos are allowed to embark any cruise ships going to China.

CARGO VESSELS

  • All vessels calling from China, including Hong Kong and Macau SAR, in the past 14 days must be boarded at the quarantine anchorage.
  • Upon arrival at the quarantine anchorage, the mast of the vessel must hoist at its foremast the yellow flag and immediately inform the Quarantine station at the assigned port through ship agents. Strictly no embarkation/disembarkation.
  • Quarantine Boarding formalities shall ensue – the mater shall submit a duly accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and the BOQ shall issue free pratique. Other boarding formalities shall commence.
  • Vessels cleared at the first port of entry and calling at another local port, which within the past 14 days has travelled from China, Hong Kong and Macau SAR, must be boarded at the designated Quarantine anchorage area by the QMO, submit daily accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent documents.
  • The master of the vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms. If there are any cases of individuals on board suffering from flu-like symptoms, the master must report it immediately to the Quarantine Medical Officer (QMO) for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimise the spread of infection on board.
  • The QMO will conduct triaging of cases.
  • Ship agent of vessel with PUI situated in a non-competent port will arrange the immediate diversion of the vessel to the nearest competent port (Manila and Cebu) in the Philippines territory.
  • PUI in a competent port will be conducted to a dedicated hospital and the vessel will be declared as affected vessel. A confirmed laboratory result of case will commence a 14-day quarantine at the anchorage and the hoisting of the Lima flag. Day zero starts at the conduction of the PUI.
  • On the 14th day, the QMO will board the vessel, examine the documents, muster the crew and issue a free pratique. The master of the vessel may then lower the yellow flag and other formalities will commence.

GENERAL PREVENTATIVE MEASURES

  • Continue hygienic practices and sanitary measures at all times.
  • Waste disposal from vessels coming in from China, including Hong Kong and Macau SAR, in the past 14 days, are not allowed in Philippine ports.

For information about operations in the Philippines contact GAC Philippines at [email protected]

Procedure for Novel Coronovirus health risk alert
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, South Africa

South Africa’s National Ports Authority Transnet has issued instructions for the procedure for Health Risk Alert related to the Novel Coronavirus.

  • The following procedure has been developed to prevent the spread of any infectious diseases. The quarantine period will be confirmed by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) and Port Health based on their assessment:
  • Prior to boarding a vessel, TNPA pilots are to contact Port Control and confirm Free Pratique has been received, and enquire about the past ten ports of call. TNPA Security also to check with ISPS pre-arrival notification.
  • Upon boarding, confirm health status of crew with the Master.
  • During the warning period, all South African citizens are to refrain from consuming food or liquids on board vessels from high risk areas. Gifts of food should be accepted.
  • If a vessel reports infection on-board, Port Health must be informed immediately. The vessel may dock but no persons will be permitted to go on-board until Port Health had boarded and cleared the vessel. If a TNPA pilot is on-board they should report to the TNPA Clinic immediately.
  • All off port limit crew transfers from affected areas to be carefully screened. No crew to be taken off a vessel without obtaining Port Health clearance.
  • Port Health declaration must be completed and is required for all Off Port Limit transfers.
  • Medical evacuations from vessels from affected areas must be screened by Port Health before disembarkation.
  • Captain of the vessel to confirm in writing if any stowaway sweep was completed when departing last port of call. A stowaway search may be requested when alongside. Vessels must use stowaway sweep companies trained by Port Health at the vessel’s cost.
  • Security to inform Port Control of any reported stowaways from vessels calling from affected areas. The vessel may enter the port and the only person permitted to board is the TNPA Pilot. All other persons may board after clearance has been received by Port Health and is alongside.
  • Masters must report stowaways if calling from an affected area. Vessel to remain at anchor until stowaways are examined and cleared by Port Health.
  • Strict gangway watched to be maintained at all times.
  • Separate lists of vessels calling from affected areas are to be maintained for record purposes.
  • Galley waste of vessels from affected areas to be incinerated and not accepted ashore.
  • Additional security to be deployed by agent of vessel for contaminated vessels. No-one must be allowed on-board a contaminated vessel except Port Health. Only after clearance has been received persons will be permitted to board/disembark.
  • All yachts arriving from affected areas must be reported to SAPS and Port Health. The Skipped to be informed to remain isolated on-board until cleared by Port Health.
  • If possible, contaminated vessels should be allocated an isolated berth away from other vessels.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in South Africa, contact GAC South Africa at [email protected]

Seafarers & passengers arriving from China
Wednesday, February 5, 2020, Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications has issued a Port Health Circular outlining procedures for seafarers and passengers arriving from China, in a bid to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.

All ships visiting the Kingdom of Bahrain must fill in the Maritime Health Declaration Form issued by the Ministry of Health within 72 hours from the date of arrival.

No action is to be taken for seafarers and passengers arriving from China 14 days or more after their departure from China.

For seafarers and passengers arriving within 14 days of departing China:

  • The ship agent must immediately notify the Ministry of Health Hotline, Ports and Maritime Authority and Bahrain Port Control.
  • Such ships visiting Bahraini waters must fill in the China Outbreak Health Declaration Card issued by the Ministry of Health within 72 hours from the date of arrival. This must be delivered to the Public Health Directorate, 4th floor.
  • Seafarers and passengers must undergo as Symptoms Assessment (cough, breathing difficulty, fever, etc) and temperature screenings on board clinic.
  • If symptoms assessment and temperature screening is positive, and the symptomatic seafarers and passengers are in stable condition, they must be monitored and isolated on board.
  • If the symptoms assessment and temperature screening is positive, and the symptomatic seafarers and passengers are sick, they will be referred to Medical Health Facilities.

For further details and updates, or information about operations in Bahrain, contact GAC Bahrain at [email protected]

Source: GAC

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