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ICS issues new coronavirus guidance for global shipping

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has issued a new guidance for the global shipping industry to help curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The 22-page document has been produced in collaboration with international bodies including the World Health Organisation (WHO), International Maritime Organisation (IMO), European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and International Maritime Health Association (IMHA).

“With no vaccine currently available to tackle the coronavirus, all industries and governments must take appropriate steps to contain the spread. Shipping is responsible for 90% of global trade and recognises its responsibility in helping tackle this global health issue whilst ensuring that the wheels of global trade continue to turn,” commented Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS.

Among a raft of measures highlighted in the guidance the document contains advice on managing port entry restrictions, offers practical protective measures against COVID-19 for seafarers, including an Outbreak Management Plan.

The guidance document also provides straightforward advice on hygiene measures for seafarers on ships, managing high risk exposure, case handling, isolation and cleaning, disinfection and waste management.

The guidance document has been designed to support all types of ships which operate in international waters, and it will be distributed to seafarers through the ICS’s network of national member associations.

“This document in the result of careful and considered collaboration with international partners. It is intended to be comprehensive, but also easy to understand and implement. Providing shipowners and operators who are dealing with the sharp end of the crisis with the reassurance and guidance needed to continue to carry out their operations,” Platten said.

“We are, however, conscious of the fluid nature of the situation, and will continue to work with international bodies to ensure our guidance is in line with the most up to date developments.”

Read all Seatrade Maritime News coverage on the impact of the coronavirus on shipping

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