Marine Consultancy Warns Ship Managers to Remain Covid Aware

Marine Consultancy Warns Ship Managers to Remain Covid Aware
'If there is another wave this winter, we could see ships and crews quarantined again and trade disrupted'.

Global marine consultancy and surveying firm Van Ameyde Marine is advising ship managers to remain Covid aware and ensure that crews are fully vaccinated amid the prospect of a further wave of infections from a new strain of the virus, a statement sent to Rigzone has revealed.

“With reports in Europe and Asia pointing to an increase in the number of Covid cases, ship managers and crews should not let their guard down,” Michael Robertson, a senior marine consultant with the company’s McAuslands division, said in the statement.

“If there is another wave this winter, we could see ships and crews quarantined again and trade disrupted. There are reports of a new strain of the virus emerging in China, so I don’t think Covid is going away any time soon,” he added.

In the statement, Van Ameyde outlined that its McAuslands’ crew care team is concerned that some seafarers have yet to receive their booster jabs.

“In the UK, we have seen an increase in vaccinations to keep boosters up to date but, in general, seafarers are not as vaccinated as well as perhaps they should have been,” Robertson said.

“Some seagoers would certainly have missed getting their boosters in the time frame required for them to be effective,” he added.

Charlotte Malkin, Crew Care Coordinator for Van Ameyde McAuslands, said, “we are finding that some crew members have only had one or two of the doses and missed boosters when they were at sea”.

“We’re arranging a lot of vaccinations and tests at the moment,” Malkin added.

Monkeypox Situation

In addition to Covid-19 warnings, Van Ameyde Marine is also advising ship operators to keep managers and crews abreast of the rapidly developing monkeypox situation and how to mitigate against the risk of infection.

“We are keeping a fairly close eye on the implications of the monkeypox outbreak, which is now shown to be transmissible by touch at a certain point in the incubation period,” Robertson said.

“P&I Club clients are already issuing advisories based on our recommendations,” he added. 

Van Ameyde Marine is encouraging crews to practice good and frequent handwashing and advises against close contact with anyone showing signs of extensive skin eruptions, blisters and rashes. If seafarers do show signs of a mild monkeypox infection, they should take medication to manage symptoms, the consultancy noted.

If patients develop more severe symptoms, they should be isolated in a separate room to prevent the infection spreading to other crew members, according to the consultancy, which also recommends crews to strop sweeping and vacuuming in infected areas to avoid disturbing virus particles.

“Ship operators should advise their P&I Clubs immediately if they suspect they have a case on monkeypox on board one of their vessels,” Robertson said.

“The Club can provide advice and guidance and instruct experts to assist as different ports will react differently to the presence of monkeypox on board a visiting vessel just as they do with Covid-19,” he added.

Covid-19, Monkeypox WHO Figures

As of September 2, 6.33pm CEST, there have been 601.1 million confirmed cases of Covid-19, with 6.4 million deaths, according to the latest figures from the World Health Organization (WHO), which also revealed that, as of August 24, a total of 12.4 billion vaccine doses have been administered.

From May to July, global weekly Covid-19 cases rose for seven consecutive weeks, WHO figures show. Global weekly Covid-19 cases have dropped for the last three consecutive weeks, however. Covid-19 cases and deaths are still way off peaks seen earlier in the pandemic.

Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported from countries where the disease is not endemic, and continue to be reported in several endemic countries, WHO notes on its website.

“Most confirmed cases with travel history reported travel to countries in Europe and North America, rather than West or Central Africa where the monkeypox virus is endemic,” WHO states on the site.

“This is the first time that many monkeypox cases and clusters have been reported concurrently in non-endemic and endemic countries in widely disparate geographical areas,” WHO added.

According to a WHO health emergency dashboard at the time of writing, there have been 52,015 cumulative cases of Monkeypox around the world, with 18 deaths. The U.S. has the most cases at 18,875, WHO’s dashboard highlights.

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