The Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS) have come out with fresh
instructions on dealing with Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) vide DGS orders,
maritime advisories and notices.
Vessels arriving from Ports of infected countries identified for mandatory
quarantine and travel ban by the Union Health Ministry before 14 days of
departure from the infected port shall need to comply with additional measures.
These measues will also apply to vessels having seafarers who have been in
infected regions within 14 days of arrival at any Indian port.
Vessels from any
port in China to be quarantined for 14 days
Vessels arriving from any port in China to have the necessary quarantine
period of 14 days
The Master of a vessel, before arrival at its first port of call in India,
shall ascertain the state of health of each person on board the vessel and
submit the Maritime Declaration of Health to the concerned health authorities
of the port and to the port authorities.
The Maritime Declaration of Health shall be forwarded at least 72 hours
prior arrival of the vessel at the port.
If the voyage duration from last port of departure is less than 72 hours,
the Maritime Declaration of Health shall be informed to the Port immediately on
departure from the port.
In addition, the information required by the local health authorities of
the port, like temperature chart, individual health declaration, etc. shall
also be provided by the Master as per the directives of the local health
authorities of the port.
Master to mention in
Maritime Declaration of Health if a person onboard exhibits symptoms
If the Master of the vessel ascertains that a person on board the vessel is
exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19, the same shall be explicitly mentioned in the
Maritime Declaration of Health being forwarded to the health authorities and to
declaration found to be incorrect, he is liable to be prosecuted
If the Maritime declaration of health given by the Master is found to be
incorrect and not reflecting the factual conditions of health of persons on
board the vessel, the Master is liable to be prosecuted as per applicable laws.
All agents of the vessel shall ensure that this information regarding
possible prosecution for incorrect declaration is clearly informed to the
vessel before its arrival at Indian ports.
Master to isolate
suspected person onboard the vessel
In case of any suspected person on board the vessel, the Master shall
ensure that the suspected person is isolated in the ship’s hospital, or other
suitable location on the vessel.
All other persons who may have come in contact with the suspected person
shall also be isolated at appropriate locations as decided by the Master.
The Master shall also ensure that all instructions issued by the Indian
Health Ministry as well as the guidance issued on dealing with Covid-19 matters
by World Health Organization (WHO), International Maritime Organization (IMO)
and other applicable trade bodies are complied with at all times.
Vessels having persons suspected of Covid-19 will necessarily be required
to be monitored by the health authorities and put in quarantine, if necessary.
If samples test
positive vessel to remain in quarantine
Samples from the suspected person will be taken and tested as per the
instructions of the health authorities. If the samples are tested positive, the
vessel will remain in quarantine and the infected person(s) will be dealt with
as per the procedures laid down by the Indian health ministry.
Vessels with infected person shall also be sanitised as per the extant
protocols for dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic.
DG Shipping in a communiqué that the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic across
a large number of nations is an unprecedented situation in recent times
To slow the spread of the disease and mitigate its impact, travel
advisories have been issued by many jurisdictions including India.
Shipping services to
continue to be operational
However, Shipping services are required to continue to be operational so
that vital goods and essential commodities like fuel, medical supplies,
foodgrains, etc. are delivered and to ensure that the economic activity of the
nation is not disrupted.
It is, therefore, important that the flow of goods by sea should not be
needlessly disrupted without compromising the safety of life and protection of
the environment. In view of the same, it has been decided that for the
continued operation of vessels and ports, the following shall be complied with
by all stakeholders till further orders,” DG Shipping said.