The Kenya Ports Authority on Tuesday announced that they have seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 and out of these, three are contracted cleaners working at the port.
Through a statement to newsrooms, KPA also stated that it had lost two members of staff but the rest of the patients are admitted at the Coast General Hospital.
As a result, the authority announced a number of measures to curb the spread of the virus at the port:
Apart from setting up handwashing points, KPA has also enabled an online cargo documentation process to ensure customers clear cargo electronically.
The following measures have also been introduced:
1. Mandatory Pre-arrival Reporting on board must be undertaken at least 48 hours before the vessel arrival in Kenya’s territorial waters. Masters of ships must, therefore, submit a duly completed and compulsory Maritime Declaration of Health form to the Port Health officer.
2. Masters shall regularly update the Port Health Office on the health status of the crew on board.
3. All arriving vessels with crew/passengers with recent travel history to countries with confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days must undergo special monitoring and Port Health must issue restricted pratique.
4. Every ship entering Kenya from a country with confirmed cases of COVID-19 is subjected to rigorous inspection in the designated location as directed by the Harbour Master in consultations with the Port Health Office.
5. If at any time during a vessel’s stay at port, any health risk is reported, a Port Health Officer shall conduct assessments on a case by case basis to manage the risk and eliminate contamination other crew port personnel and others
6. Crew/passengers with any of these symptoms (fever, headache, joint and muscle pain, sore throat, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, cough or shortness of breathing) the Master must report to the Port Health Office.
7. Crew/passengers of vessels from confirmed COVID-19 countries will Not be granted shore passes. Only Kenyans and foreigners with valid residence permits will be allowed to disembark after presentation of Health Declaration forms and by the health Authorities.
8. All visitors (dockworkers, agents, surveyors, port state inspectors) to a ship from countries confirmed with COVID-19 cases must be informed about the precautionary measures while on board. It shall be prohibited for anyone to board a vessel before the completion of the health inspection of the crew or passengers. All visitors to use protective disposable masks and latex gloves while onboard and should dispose them on board before disembarking in a special disposal bin.
9. Masters of all ships due to arrive in a Kenyan port are required to declare their last 10 ports of call or voyage memo for the last three months, whichever is higher, and confirm that there is no crew showing symptoms of COVID-19 on board.
10. Ships agents, if possible, should use alternative means of contacting the vessels instead of boarding the vessels, so as to minimize potential contamination risk.
11. Ship crew change is temporarily suspended until further notice. The exception is given to Kenyan crew and persons with valid resident permits.
12. The Masters of vessels shall be required to provide sanitizers at the ship's gangway for persons entering and upon exit.
13. Garbage from vessels arriving from confirmed COVID-19 countries will not be allowed to be discharged at any Kenyan Port.