Coronavirus: Shipping Ministry Secy reviews crew, passenger COVID-19 screening at ports

New Delhi: In the backdrop of increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in India, preparedness of all major and non-major ports in India was reviewed today under the chairmanship of Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping.

Secretary Krishna discussed the nitty-gritty of the present scenario with chairpersons of all major and minor ports as well as officials of State Maritime Boards through video conferencing. Officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Bureau of Immigration, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) were also present during the meeting.

Deliberating the emerging global scenario, the Secretary requested a co-ordinated and collective approach against COVID-19 by all to avoid its spread through sea ports. He emphasised all officials to adhere to the instructions and advisories being issued by the Ministry of Shipping in letter and spirit. He directed all ports to ensure availability of thermal scanners and sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as per guidelines of the Ministry of Health.

All ports handling export-import (EXIM) cargo and cruise ships have been instructed to take special precautions and ensure 100% thermal screening of crews and passengers, self-declaration from the crew and passengers, and tie-up with the regional unit of NDRF for third-party checks at ports.  Immediate instructions have been issued to stop disembarkation of crew and passenger having travel history from infected countries.

All ports have been directed to procure thermal scanners and necessary protective gears as required, setting up of isolation wards, and ensuring medical facilities and subsequent treatment availability as per MoHFW guidelines. It was highlighted that in total 16,076 passengers from 452 ships have been screened so far at various major and non-major ports.

Senior officials of the Ministry of Health present during this review meeting explained to concerned port authorities regarding the thermal screening process, detailed health check-up of crew and setting up of quarantine facilities in coordination with respective local medical authorities.

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The ID Staff

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