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PCG issues guidelines for port state control officers vs. nCoV

PCG issues guidelines for port state control officers vs. nCoV
January 31, 2020

Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Admiral Joel Garcia on Friday ordered a strict implementation of preventive measures for all port state control officers so that they can protect themselves from the novel coronavirus.

The following guidelines released by the PCG are intended to protect their personnel who are performing port state control functions such as vessel boarding procedures:

Avoid close contact between port state control officers and ship’s crew;
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as N95 masks, latex gloves, and boots, especially if close contact with any of the ship’s crew cannot be avoided;
Properly and immediately dispose PPE after usage to avoid possible contamination;
Maintain clean hands and use hand sanitizers at all times;
Ensure the availability and placement of hand sanitizers in all stations;
Immediately report if any of the ship’s crew is found to have developed any sign or symptom of flu or pneumonia during the boarding procedure;
Advice ship’s crew to limit or avoid unnecessary movement outside the vessel and to wear PPE if required to disembark to Philippine shores; and
Ensure that ship’s crew follow the guidelines in handling vessel’s waste disposal

According to the PCG, the guidelines shall be followed before and after boarding a suspected vessel that came from any country with reported cases of nCoV infection, based on their port of origin or last port call for the last 14 days.

The Department of Health already disclosed the first nCoV case in the Philippines — a 38-year-old woman from Wuhan City, China. The patient is presently confined at San Lazaro Hospital in Manila City.