According to the circular, over the past few weeks, there have been some instances of ships arriving to BC ports with one or more crewmembers be COVID-19 positive.
Namely, concerning the positive cases, the communication of onboard illnesses happened after the 96-hour Pre-Arrival Information Report (PAIR) and the 24-Hour Report.
The lack of communication to key stakeholders and the absence of any coordinated response has resulted in unnecessary exposure to ill seafarers, delays in medical treatment of ill crew members, and disruption to commercial operations.
In light of the above, operators are encouraged to communicate closely with Transport Canada and their local agent to ensure such risks are minimised.
As informed, Transport Canada is leading a multi-department scenario-based planning process to identify potential areas to improve current policies and procedures
What is more, when a case of coronavirus is suspected or reported onboard a vessel, then a “COVID Response Team” that would convene (virtually) will contact the ship as soon as a possible.
The COVID Rapid Response Team would include:
- Transport Canada
- Public Health Agency of Canada
- Pacific Pilotage Authority
- BC Coast Pilots
- Port Authority
- Ship Agent (with support from the Chamber of Shipping)
- Terminal Manager (with support from the BC Marine Terminal Operators Association)
- BC Maritime Employers Association
From our discussions with members, we believe that a scaled “incident response” approach would resolve concerns of marine industry stakeholders and provide a means of quickly identifying the key components of a response.
…the circular stated.