The International Chamber of Shipping has released new health guidance to help the shipping industry combat the spread of COVID-19, now nine months into the pandemic.
The new guidance is a fully updated version of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance for Ship Operators for the Protection of the Health of Seafarers, last updated in May, and reflects the latest thinking and advice on the virus.
The latest edition includes an updated introduction reflecting the situation nine months on from the start of the global pandemic and adds two new annexes on PCR testing and Managing Multiple Cases of COVID-19 On Board Vessels. The ICS says it should be read in conjunction with COVID-19 – Protocols to Mitigate the Risks of Cases On Board Ships.
The measures highlighted in the Guidance include advice on managing port entry restrictions, shipboard measures to address risks associated with COVID-19, managing cases of COVID-19 on board ship when at sea, assistance for all seafarers to access medical care when in ports, and dealing with other medical issues during COVID-19.
In addition to the new PCR Testing Procedures Matrix, the publication also includes updated practical advice on the use of masks, renewing prescriptions, support and logistics supply, decision making for on board suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases and measures to enhance mental health and wellbeing.
“Our seafarers continue to work tirelessly to ensure the global supply of goods and services during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential that governments and shipping companies do all they can to support this updated Guidance and seafarers use its recommendations to ensure we all do our bit to keep everyone safe,” said Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping.
The Guidance is for use on all types of ship and aims to recognise the unique needs of both cargo and passenger ships.