Handling of sick or injured crew
Monday, October 19, 2020, Shanghai, China

Shanghai Pneumonia Prevention and Control Office has advised improvements in handling sick or injured crew from international navigation vessels during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crew illness or injuries inside Shanghai waters are handled through in the ship search and rescue system. If treatment onshore for an injury is required, after double checking by the shipping company, the case should be immediately reported to the search and rescue centre immediately (MSA). Upon receipt of the rescue aid request, the MSA should report to the nearest customs, immigration and health departments.

The local health authority should, in conjunction with the relevant departments, deal with the request as follows:

  • If the illness or injury is not life-threatening, in principle, customs shall complete inspection and sampling on the ship and after test results are issued, the shipping company transports the injured crew member via isolation ambulance to hospital for proper treatment.
  • In case of life-threatening or urgent cases, customs may conduct investigation and sampling on the ship, while the shipping company immediately transfers the sick or injured crew member by isolation means to the medical hospital designated by the health department.
  • If the customs fail to take samples on board in case of emergency, the health department may arrange for joint sampling and joint testing under the hospital and the customs. Further treatment measures shall be taken according to the test results.
  • Remote health guidance may be given to crew members who are judged not to need to be treated off the ship.
  • The shipping company shall arrange the transfer vehicles in advance to transfer of sick and injured crew members.
  • In principle, the crew members should return to the ship after completion of medical treatment.
  • If they cannot return due to objective reasons, for Chinese crew to go home, the local epidemic prevention and control department of the hospital, together with transportation, economic information, agriculture and rural departments, should implement the quarantine requirement of 14 days as per strict quarantine requirement.
  • For foreign crew to leave China, an exit plan shall be made by the shipping company, arranging the vehicle and flight to transfer the foreign crew directly from the hospital to exit airport. If it is really necessary to wait for transit flights, a closed isolated point will be arranged to wait for the transfer flight. If truly difficult to arrange a flight, time off ship is more than 14 days, and the nucleic acid test is negative, the shipping company may arrange other suitable places for crew to rest and wait for the transfer flight.
  • In cases of confirmed or suspected pneumonia from a novel coronavirus, fever that may be infected with pneumonia from a novel coronavirus or close contact of the confirmed patient, customs must test all of the ship’s crew. If necessary, the departments of health, customs, MSA, immigration, information, communications and agriculture and rural shall carry out the disposal of the ship and its remaining crew members.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in China, contact GAC China at [email protected]

Control the landing of foreign crew members
Monday, October 19, 2020, Shanghai, China

If a ship needs to stay at Shanghai Shipyard for an extended period for repairs, and the vessel has already stayed in Shanghai for more than 14 days, landing formalities may be carried out to allow crew ashore for temporary rest.

This is subject to approval from the Leading Group for Situation Control and Prevention, and on condition that customs inspection finds the ship in normal condition and nucleic acid test results of crew are negative.

Immigration formalities may be conducted for crew members from Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland, or foreign crew members holding exit and entry documents within the scope of the mutual visa exemption agreement with China, if the vessel departed last foreign port more than 14 days previously, and no crew changes were carried out within 14 days before arrival. This is subject to approval, there being no abnormal condition in customs quarantine, and nucleic acid test results being negative.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in China, contact GAC China at [email protected]

Isolation measures extended
Monday, October 19, 2020, Argentina

Argentina has extended its nationwide isolation measures until 0001 hours next Monday (26 October). Border restrictions continue and incoming/outgoing flights are still not yet permitted.

Crewmembers may not disembark at the country’s ports, so no crew changes can be conducted for the time being.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Argentina, contact the GAC Houston Hub Agency Center at [email protected]

Arriving passenger/crew requirements
Monday, October 19, 2020, Mauritius

Passengers/crews travelling to Mauritius must possess the following documents:
– a certificate of a negative PCR test administered not more than 7 days prior to the date of embarkation;
– a valid air ticket to Mauritius;
– proof of purchase of a travel package including accommodation, on a full board basis, at a designated hotel for a mandatory 14-day in-room quarantine.

All arriving passengers/crew will have to undergo PCR tests on the day of arrival, and on days 7 & 14 after arrival. If a PCR test reveals that a person is COVID-19 positive, they shall be transferred to a public medical institution for treatment.

Off-signers must also undergo for PCR test early morning upon arrival. The vessel must stay at Inner Port Limits pending a negative test result (results expected in the afternoon) before permission be granted to disembark and the vessel can sail out. Upon receipt of negative test results, off-signers will be directed to the Port Immigration after reaching the shore by launch and then be transferred immediately to the airport under health escorts. Off-signers’ e-tickets must be confirmed and submitted to the Health Authorities prior vessel’s ETA.

Tests are only done only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Sudan, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at [email protected]

Crew changes without restrictions
Monday, October 19, 2020, Sohar, Oman

The Government of Oman has granted permission to carry out crew changes at Sohar Port without any restrictions or without any special approvals. GAC Sohar now can arrange crew changes at Sohar Port or Anchorage.

The (COVID-19) test and quarantine compliance must be arranged by shipping agents for all crew change services. The shipping agent should liaise directly with hereunder mentioned authorities with prior notice.

For crew departing from the ship to Muscat Airport:

  1. The shipping agency should send a request with a list of crew departing from ship to the airport along with copies of their documents to the Port Health Department. The Port Health Department will write a letter to the Security Coordination at the ROP, with no objection in case requested by ROP.
  2. 24 hours before the travel date, the captain of the ship should send a letter to the Port Health Department stating that the departing crew are free of Covid-19. The airport name and date of travel are specified in the letter to allow their disembarkation from the ship.
  3. When disembarking from the ship to the airport, departing crew should pass through the Port Health Department for the temperature measures and symptoms check. They will be provided with a message “to whom it may concern” from the Port Health Department.

For crew coming from their countries to the Sultanate via Muscat Airport:

  1. The shipping agency should send a request to the Port Health Department with a list of crew arrivals and copies of their no objection documents. The Port Health Department will write a letter to the Security Coordination at the ROP with no objection in case requested by ROP.
  2. The shipping agency should send a letter to the ROP immigration and health department at the airport stating that the crew will stay for less than 7 days in the Sultanate. The shipping agent should also clarify whether the ship that the crew are signing on is an international ship or a local ship, to avoid wearing the bracelet for the international ship crew. This letter should be sent before the crew arrives in the Sultanate to present it to the proper authorities at the airport.
  3. After the crew arrives in the Sultanate, the shipping agent will arrange the stay of the crew at the hotel until the result of the Covid-19 test appears. All expenses will be settled by the shipping agency.
  4. If the COVID-19 test result is negative, the crew will be allowed to leave the hotel and sign-on to the ship. The port health department should be informed. The crew should be in quarantine at the ship for a period of 14 days and should measure their temperature twice a day and the symptoms check must always be monitored. This will be the responsibility of the captain of the vessel.
  5. If the COVID-19 test result is positive, the crew will be placed in quarantine at the hotel for 14 days, and the shipping agency should arrange for the patient(s) to be treated. All expenses will be settled by the shipping agency.
  6. For local ships, the crew will have to wear a bracelet from the airport and they should take it off after 14 days of quarantining at the ship “in the event that the result is negative” and returned back to the nearest health complex/hospital. If the bracelet has been destroyed, the shipping agency will be charged a fine of up to 200 Omani Riyals.
  7. In case of the ship is an international ship and the result of the Covid-19 test is “negative”, the crew will not be asked to wear a bracelet. However, the responsibility of the quarantining and symptoms check will be under the captain of the ship who will be also responsible to measure the temperature of the crew twice a day and follow up on symptoms for a period of 14 days.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Oman, contact GAC Oman at [email protected]

Obstruction in channel – Rig Jasminia update 1
Monday, October 19, 2020, Beaumont, United States

The large semi-submersible rig JASMINIA remains stationary in Sabine Bank Channel near gated buoys 17 and 18. The location of the rig prevents vessels with drafts greater than 32 feet from safely transiting into the Sabine-Neches Waterway.

The owner has initiated response efforts. Personnel are on board the rig conducting the assessment. Salvage plans are being developed and reviewed. U.S. Army Corps assets are surveying the area immediately adjacent to the ship channel to determine if deeper draft vessels might safely pass the rig in the safety fairway. The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are actively monitoring response efforts to ensure expeditious removal of the rig from the channel.

The Port Arthur Captain of the Port will continue to host Port Coordination Teams (PCT) calls each day until the channel is open to marine traffic.

(For information about operations in the United States, contact GAC North America at [email protected])

Source: U.S. Coast Guard. Port Arthur, Texas, Marine Safety Information Bulletin 45-20 dated 19 October 2020

Source: GAC

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