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Ships transiting Panama Canal must report contact with coronavirus outbreak countries

Ships transiting Panama Canal must report contact with coronavirus outbreak countries
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) is requiring all ships transiting the waterway that have called countries with confirmed cases of the coronavirus to report contact.

ACP said in a statement that it is concerned with the recent outbreak of the 2019 new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has generated an International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) Advisory.

 The following countries have reported confirmed cases of the virus: China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, United States of America, France, and Australia.

“It is imperative that vessels arriving at Panama Canal waters, for port calls or transit, after having called at ports located in any of these countries, or any other country with confirmed cases of the virus, and having identified any suspected case on board demonstrating any of the above-mentioned symptoms, report this condition through the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA), within 30 days prior to their arrival.

“This is necessary in order to take appropriate measures to prevent the possible spread of this virus in the Republic of Panama. Such measures include, but are not limited to, boarding the vessel by sanitary health authorities in order to investigate any cases; use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, by ACP personnel, or holding the vessel in quarantine as a precautionary measure,” the statement said.