TRANSNET has implemented additional procedures for all vessels entering South African ports in a bid to contain the Novel Coronavirus.
The virus, which originated in China and has killed 490 people there so far, has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.
“Transnet has instituted strict health measures and is working with the Department of Health (DoH) and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) to monitor the outbreak,” the transport parastatal said in a statement.
It announced several additional measures to safeguard South Africa’s ports:
- All foreign vessels entering the ports must be cleared by the Port Health Department and details of the last 10 ports of call are to be recorded.
- Separate list of vessels calling from affected areas are being recorded.
- During the warning period, all South African Citizens – including marine pilots – are to refrain from consuming foods and liquids on board vessels from high-risk areas.
- Should reports of infection be reported on board a vessel, the vessel may dock. However, no persons will be permitted to go on-board until Port Health has cleared the vessel.
- No crew to be taken off a vessel without obtaining Port Health Clearance.
- A thorough sweep of stowaways will be conducted.
- Should stowaways be found, the vessel is to remain at anchor until stowaways are examined and cleared by Port Health.
- All waste from the vessels from affected areas will be incinerated and not accepted ashore.
- All yachts arriving in the country from all areas must report to South African Police Services and Port Health Department. The skipper is to be informed to ensure that he and his crew remain isolated on-board the vessel until cleared by Port Health.
- TNPA marine pilots are to use appropriate medical masks and gloves when receiving vessels from affected areas
- All employees of TNPA that are interfacing with affected vessels have been made aware of the procedures to be followed and have been provided with appropriate masks and gloves to be worn when going on board the vessels.
Additionally, Transnet port health employees have been sensitised to government’s national response plan to diagnose infected persons and refer them to designated sites/hospitals.
Coronavirus: key contact details
For more information on the Novel Coronavirus, please refer to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD): http://www.nicd.ac.za or call its national hotline on 066 562 4021 or 079 495 6739.