News: Novel Coronavirus update – advice for members
28 January 2020
Further to the club’s previous update regarding the latest situation of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) we have received some useful advice from our correspondents in China, Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd which we have provided below.
Prevention of coronavirus for onboard crew
Ships have large mobility, small areas on board, intensive crew activities, and lack of effective medical protection. Therefore, once an outbreak occurs, it will be difficult to obtain effective treatment. With reference to the World Health Organization's 'interim guide to the prevention and control of epidemic and pandemic acute respiratory disease infection in health care' and the experience of ships in 2002 against SARS, the association proposes the following precautions to members as follows:
1. Prompt notification
Members should promptly inform the shore-based and ships of the progress of the epidemic, so that employees and crew fully understand the risks of the new coronavirus, and during the spring passenger traffic and the epidemic is not effectively controlled, try not to replace the crew.
2. Reduce ship-shore communication
Members should formulate temporary security policies. In the near future, try not to arrange ship-shore exchanges, boarding inspections, internal audits, external audits, maintenance and other activities, and prohibit all boarding visits and family visits.
3. Strengthen ladder control
During the berthing operation of the ship, the captain shall urge the stairway duty to strengthen the stairway control, strictly check the credentials of all boarding personnel, and all unrelated personnel are prohibited from boarding. At the same time, in countries and ports reporting the epidemic situation, it is forbidden for crew members to leave the ship during berthing.
4. Restricted areas
The ship shall strictly control the movement area of foreigners boarding the ship, set up tally rooms and reception rooms on the main deck, and control the entry of agents, tally, foremen, suppliers and other foreign personnel into the crew living area.
5. Pay attention to food safety
Ship meals should be purchased from regular suppliers to avoid buying meals from the ports and areas where the epidemic is found. In the near future, more fresh vegetables and fruits should be added to reduce the intake of meat and poultry meat products. Separate cutting boards and knives for raw and cooked foods. Avoid raw foods, especially raw meat and seafood.
6. Focus on personal hygiene
The crew should wash their hands frequently, take a shower, change their clothes frequently, use soap or healthy hand sanitiser when washing their hands, put the clothes working outside in the locker room, don't wear them back to your room, and wash the work clothes with disinfectant. When coughing and sneezing, use paper towels or elbow to cover the nose and mouth to prevent droplets from spraying. The used paper towels should preferably be incinerated.
7. Strengthen self-prevention
The company should take the initiative to provide protective masks to the ship. The crew should wear masks during berthing to avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms, and try to avoid going out to public places and contacting livestock and wildlife during berthing.
8. Suspect investigation
The master of the ship should strengthen the safety investigation of suspected cases of the ship. When any foreigner finds similar cold, cough, fever and other symptoms during berthing, he should immediately leave the ship and notify the agent and foreman or relevant management organisation at the same time. If the crew members are found to have similar symptoms during the berthing period, an outpatient treatment should be arranged immediately. If quarantine should be arranged during the voyage, do not allow symptomatic crew members to participate in collective activities, and notify the company of the crew symptoms in a timely manner.
9. In addition, the crew should maintain good working habits during this period
Ensure adequate sleep: insufficient sleep harms the function of the seafarer's brain and nervous system. Not only will it experience difficulty remembering, suffer emotional instability and low work efficiency, but also reduce the body's immunity which in turn reduces the body's defense ability against coronavirus.
Strengthen physical exercise: develop the habit of consciously exercising on the boat, actively exercise, maintain a suitable weight, and strengthen your physique. The club has produced posters for use onboard ships on the topic of physical exercise, and some accompanying advice including eight simple exercises which can be done at sea - see more here.
10. Recommended types of masks for use
According to China CDC, at present, the recommended masks used by the public include disposable medical masks (as per 1. which must meet the industry standard of YY / T 0969-2013), medical surgical masks (as per 2. which must meet the industry standard of YY0469-2011), medical protective masks/N95 medical respirators (as per 3. which must meet the national standard of GB19083-2010). The public can choose to use medical surgical masks in their daily life, and to use medical protective masks/N95 medical respirators when in close contact (within 1 metre) with patients or suspected patients. Keep the mask clean when using it, check the air tightness before use, pay attention to regular replacement, cleaning and disinfection, and replace it in time in case of pollution.