China - Coronavirus

23 January 2020

Members calling at ports in China will be aware of a new virus which according to the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) may be linked to cases of pneumonia first reported in Wuhan City, Hubei province, on 31 December 2019. The new virus was later identified as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) similar to the common cold and SARS, and has spread to other cities in China, including some port cities such as Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Tianjin, and countries internationally. As of 23 January 2020, a total of 581 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus have been reported globally, 571 of which were reported from China, and others in Thailand, Japan, the United States and one from the Republic of Korea.

A correspondent in China, Oasis P&I Services Company Limited, suggests that vessels calling at Chinese ports take certain precautions and measures to prevent the risks of spreading the coronavirus. This includes alerting the authorities in the event coronavirus is suspected on board, taking precautions to reduce the possibility of the spread of any virus, including handwashing, use of masks and disembarking the vessel only where absolutely necessary. The Oasis Circular is available here.

In addition, we understand from Huatai Insurance Agency & Consultant Service Ltd, the Club’s correspondent in Xiamen, that the Authorities are requiring all vessels to report the temperature and condition of vessel’s crew before entry into the port. This and other measures may be required by the Authorities at other Chinese ports in order to control and prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

More information on the coronavirus and developing situation are available from the WHO website: click here. The WHO’s advice for international travel and trade in relation to the outbreak, including precautions to be taken to reduce the risks when traveling, should be followed and details can be accessed by clicking here.