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Ships advised to take precautions vs. nCoV

Ships advised to take precautions vs. nCoV
Raymond Carl Dela Cruz January 31, 2020

MANILA – Shipowners and operators have been advised to coordinate with the authorities and train their personnel in dealing with the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) after the first case of the viral disease in the country have been confirmed.

The Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) advised ship owners and operators to coordinate with the Department of Health (DOH) on the employment of standard operating procedures (SOP) to monitor and report suspected cases of nCoV.

This is aside from the installation and use of medical equipment and kits, if necessary, to prevent the spread of the virus.

“To address the serious and alarming worldwide concern relative to the highly contagious (nCoV), all are enjoined to take the highest precautionary vigilance and cooperation to prevent, monitor, and report cases of nCoV,” MARINA said in its advisory.

It also advised the training of ship officers, onboard crew, and offshore personnel with “knowledge, information, and skills necessary for the monitoring, reporting, and prevention of nCoV.”

To ensure the safety of seafarers, clients, and personnel of the maritime agency, MARINA has also put in place strict health monitoring procedures, such as body temperature tests for people entering its central and regional offices and the provision of hand sanitizer dispensers at entrances and comfort rooms.

It added that all front-line personnel have been required to wear facemasks, while all escalator handrails, elevators, railings, and similar facilities will be regularly sanitized.

Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte has given the order to put up a temporary travel ban on travelers from the entire Hubei province, according to Senator Christopher Lawrence Go.

On Thursday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said a 38-year-old Chinese female who traveled from Wuhan City -- the epicenter of the global epidemic -- through Hong Kong was the first confirmed case of nCoV in the country.

Duque added that the patient was "currently asymptomatic with no fever and no signs and symptoms of any illness." (PNA)