Novel Coronavirus (2019-mCoV)
On 31 December 2019, cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in Wuhan Hubei Province of China were initially reported to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was identified as the causative virus by Chinese authorities on 7 January 2020. In response to the growing number of pneumonia suspected of being caused by the 2019-nCoV, WHO is still discussing declaring of Public Health Emergency of International Concern at the expert emergency meeting.
However, no licensed specific treatment or vaccine is available for use in people so, it is of critical importance to raise awareness of the risk factors for the 2019-nCoV infection and to take the protective measures for reduction in risk of infection. WHO recommends the following precautionary practices for travel to areas where pneumonia due to the new coronavirus is endemic as follow: (WHO advice dated January 10, 2020)
- avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections;
- frequent hand-washing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment;
- avoiding close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals;
- travelers with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should practice cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
It is also effective in preventing infectious diseases on board, so please take care of patients and to be vigilant about regular hand washing.
We have obtained the attached circular by Oasis P&I Services Company Limited, marine insurance and claims handling professionals in China suggesting shipowners to alert their vessels which are calling or will call Chinese ports in the near future.
Please refer to the WHO website for the latest information.