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Singapore advises shipping community on Wuhan Coronavirus precautionary measures

03 Feb 2020

The Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) of Singapore on Saturday (1 February) released an extension of precautionary measures to minimise spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus for harbour craft community, pleasure craft community and shipping community:

Since 24 January 2020, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has implemented temperature screening at all sea checkpoints, including ferry and cruise terminals, PSA terminals and Jurong Port, for inbound travellers. MPA has also put up health advisories at the sea checkpoints to inform travellers and ship crew on the precautionary measures to take when travelling, as well as to remain vigilant and adopt good hygiene practices. 

Some shipping companies have taken additional precautionary measures such as disallowing shore leave for personnel in China ports, mandatory temperature checks, keeping a log of crew movements and restricting staff travel to China. 

In line with Singapore Ministry of Health’s (MOH) press release dated 31 January 2020 (Annex 1), the MPA will extend the precautionary measures to include passengers and crew members with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days, as well as ships whose previous ports of call in the last 14 days included mainland China. This will take effect from 1 February 2020, 2359h. 

Ships can continue to berth at terminals to carry out operations. 

Advice for shipping community 

MPA advises the shipping community to adhere closely to the health advisory in Annex 2. The National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Port Health requires all arriving vessels with crew and passengers that have called at ports in mainland China in the past 14 days to submit the Maritime Declaration of Health Form. MPA also urged all crew members on-board to have their temperature taken twice a day. There are also guidelines on how to isolate unwell crew and passengers. For guidance on the Page 2 of 9 disinfection protocols of common areas and rooms in the vessel, please refer to the NEA’s website for the Interim Guidelines for Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection of Areas Exposed to Confirmed Case(s) of Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in NonHealthcare Commercial Premises, if needed. If any of their crew or passengers are unwell, they should report the incident to the Marine Safety Control Centre at 6325 2488/2489. 

Managers/supervisors of terminal operators, agents, contractors and service providers are to take note of the health advisory in Annex 3 and bring it to the attention of staff who are required to work on board ships. 

Advice for Singapore-Registered Vessels 

Ship owners, managers, operators, agents and masters of Singaporeregistered vessels should monitor the health of their crew closely. Masters of such vessels are required to report to their company, MPA and destination port authorities, if their crew are unwell, experience respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, shortness of breath) or feel feverish. They should also make the necessary arrangements to seek medical attention. Refer to the health advisory in Annex 4. 

Measures by Regional Ferry Operators 

MPA-licensed regional ferry operators have been conducting outbound temperature screenings to ensure no febrile passengers board the ferries. In addition, the ferry operator will disinfect the ferry after every trip. 

Measures by Port Terminal Operators 

PSA and Jurong Port are also taking precautionary measures for employees returning to Singapore from mainland China. Some of these measures include allowing eligible staff to telecommute and providing frontline staff with paid Leave of Absence where they are unable to work remotely. 

The following Annex 2, Annex 3 and Annex 4 of the protection measures can be downloaded here.


Photo credit: Ehpien on Flickr
Published: 3 February, 2020

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