KPA publishes new guidelines for ships to curb virus
By Patrick Beja | March 20th 2020
Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has introduced rules to ships calling at the Port of Mombasa in a bid to contain the novel coronavirus.
All ships coming from high-risk countries are to be inspected at the quayside.
The vessel operators are required to submit, via email to the port health office, a maritime declaration of health form, crew lists, a voyage of last 10 ports and a valid ship control or exemption certificate 48 hours before the arrival of the ship.
“All ships will commence operations after issuance of a certificate of free pratique and access to restricted areas/ships’ accommodation deck will not be allowed to any unauthorised persons,” explained KPA Managing Director Daniel Manduku in a memo.
In shipping lingo, pratique is permission granted to ships to deal with a port after quarantine upon showing a clean bill of health.
Dr Manduku said KPA has taken measures to protect port users in the wake of coronavirus threats across the world. He said no ship has been denied entry to the port.
Recently, Manduku appointed an 11-member committee under the chairmanship of Julius Tai, head of Container Terminal Engineering, to support the national emergency response committee in enhancing surveillance at the port and points of entry.
The committee is required to develop and communicate precautionary measures on the coronavirus outbreak, conduct staff awareness and sensitisation on the virus, periodically review corporate preparedness to the disease and report to the managing director for support. It is also required to identify requisite protective gear to be urgently sourced for distribution to all KPA branches.
Besides the above, the committee is also expected to identify quarantine facilities in liaison with the Ministry of Health and the National Emergency Response Committee as well as collaborate with various government agencies for enhanced response and effective communication on emerging issues on the virus.
At the same time, sanitisers are being installed at various strategic points including the gates and receptions, for people to cleanse their hands as they get into the port area.
Meanwhile, the KPA managing director has announced temporary cancellation of all official international trips among staff in an effort to mitigate the spread of coronavirus.
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