Elaborate Measures Introduced At Ports To Curb Spread Of Coronavirus


With the coronavirus spreading across the globe, the Shipping Ministry has undertaken elaborate measures to prevent the outbreak. If any passengers/crew show symptoms of the disease, disembarking of such passengers/crew will not be permitted and the passenger will be quarantined on the ship, according to the guidelines issued by the ministry.

Samples of the patient will be collected and sent to the designated hospital/lab for testing. If the sample is tested positive, the passenger will be taken to the isolation facility attached to the Port and the ship will be asked to move out.

If the sample is negative, the passengers and crew will be allowed shore excursion. A declaration to follow this procedure will be taken from all ships before they are allowed to enter the Port.

As per the decision, now only those international cruise ships which had planned and intimated their call to an Indian port not later than January 1, 2020, will be allowed to call on such port.

Implementing various measures as the standard operating procedure (SOP) with immediate effect for all international cruise ships, who had planned and intimated their call to major ports of India in advance, the ministry has maintained that international cruise ships will be allowed only on the ports having thermal screening facilities for passenger and crew.

Any international cruise ship or any member of its crew or any passenger therein having a travel history of visiting any of the Covid-19 affected countries since Feb 1, 2020; will not be permitted to enter any Indian port till March 31, 2020.

Shipping Agent/Master of Vessel will have to submit all documents related to crew and passengers regarding their travel to/from the COVID-19 affected countries. No sick passengers/crew will be allowed to board the ship by Shipping agent/Master of Vessel.

The updated information on COVID-19 shall be provided to each international cruise vessel and should be as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

All passengers and crew members will have to fill the Self Reporting Form as prescribed by Health Ministry and submitted to Port Health Officer (PHO) who will carry out the thermal screening of all the passengers and crew members on the ship.

Until clearance by PHO, passengers will not be allowed ashore.  Port/Local hospital to assist PHO by supplying additional doctors and medical staff and logistics etc.

Cruise ships will have to take special measures to prevent coronavirus affected patients to board the ships in the first place. Any cruise guests who have traveled through China, Hong Kong, Iran, South Korea and Italy and other affected countries in the past 14 days are automatically denied boarding by the cruise lines.

Any person having contact with anyone within the last 14-days prior to travel who has travel history to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea, or Italy or any other affected countries is automatically denied boarding.

Mandatory screenings are performed of persons with influenza-like illnesses in boarding ports terminals. All guests onboard have to fill out self-declaration health forms.

At the check-in counter of the boarding ports, the guest’s passports are verified for any stamps from COVID-19 affected countries. The passports are going to be double-checked by cruise vessel personnel inside the terminal at Boarding ports to ensure nothing is amiss.

All passports are also checked onboard by cruise vessel staff alongside Indian Immigration Officers, wherever the Immigration Officers boarded in the previous foreign ports for clearance. All cruises would also be required to carry out a daily examination of all passengers for symptoms for COVID-19.

All cruises would be required to have sufficiently oriented health staff with adequate logistics like masks, personal protection equipment, etc. along with sufficient isolation beds where any crew/passenger suspects can be isolated in case of detection of any symptoms.