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IMO Council 31st Extraordinary Session (C ES 31), 18 March to 15 April 2020

The thirty-first extraordinary session of the Council was held by correspondence, due to the extraordinary circumstances as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the first IMO meeting not held live in the history of the Organization.

Solidarity in the pandemic

The Council joined IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in expressing its solidarity with all Member States and other stakeholders during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic and commended them for their concerted efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The Council also expressed its appreciation to the Secretary-General for his swift action in response to the pandemic, while ensuring the continuation of the work of the Organization.

Action urged to keep shipping flowing

The Council expressed its appreciation to the crew, seafarers, shore-based workers, and personnel of the maritime and aviation communities for enabling international trade to continue in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recognizing that the ability of shipping services and seafarers to deliver vital goods, including medical equipment to the populations around the world was critical in responding to the pandemic, the Council:

  • urged flag and port States to ensure the smooth operation of maritime traffic and availability of shipping services for world commerce, for the benefit of humanity;
  • further urged flag and port States to ensure the welfare of seafarers, in particular that their rights to wages, shore leave, sick leave, access to medical assistance, food supplies and repatriation were preserved;
  • endorsed a practical and pragmatic approach for repairs, survey and certification and licensing of seafarers; and
  • encouraged Governments to share best practices in keeping workers in the maritime transport sector safe from COVID-19, while taking into account national circumstances.
  • The Council also requested Member States to submit proposals to the thirty-second extraordinary session of the Council on measures to ensure that shipping services were not unnecessarily disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    32nd Extraordinary Session to approve revised schedule of meetings

    The Council decided to convene the thirty-second extraordinary session of the Council, by correspondence, at an appropriate time, as and when it appears that the Organization will be able to resume normal operations. The 32nd session will be invited to approve the revised schedule of meetings postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Measures to ensure continuity of operations endorsed

    The Council endorsed and commended the actions taken by the IMO Secretary-General, in his capacity as the chief administrative officer of the Organization, and the Secretariat in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and endorsed future actions, as appropriate, to ensure public safety and the continuity of operations of the Organization.

    Future meetings and IMO Secretariat

    The Council requested the Secretary-General to submit reports to a future session of the Council on: the establishment of a system that enables IMO staff to work remotely without affecting their productivity; and the possibility of holding meetings by teleconference, including the development of relevant procedures for such meetings, by the Council, and related budgetary implications, in view of the uncertainty of the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Budgetary implications

    The Council requested the Secretary-General to provide a preliminary analysis of the budgetary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to the thirty-second extraordinary session of the Council, by correspondence, acknowledging that the Secretary-General would endeavour to effect the maximum economies in the budget. The Council also requested the Secretary-General to provide a final report on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Organization to the 124th session of the Council.

    Council participation

    All 40 Members of the Council were deemed "present" via correspondence. The following observer delegations also participated in the session by correspondence: Colombia, Cook Islands, Finland, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Marshall Islands, Saudi Arabia and Vanuatu.


    Published on: 18 April, 2020 @09:04:53 [Tags: IMO Announcement - Seafarers - COVID19 - solidarity in the pandemic]

    IMO has echoed shipping industry calls for governments to keep shipping and supply chains open and grant special travel exemptions to seafarers in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    In a Circular Letter (link) issued 30 March 2020, the Organization has distributed a series of recommendations for governments and relevant national authorities, proposed by a broad cross-section of global industry associations representing the maritime transportation sector.

    The Circular Letter specifically calls on governments to designate professional seafarers and marine personnel, regardless of their nationality, as 'key workers' providing an essential service.

    Referring to the issue of crew changes, it says professional seafarers and marine personnel should be granted any necessary and appropriate exemptions from national travel or movement restrictions to allow them to join or leave ships, and that governments should permit professional seafarers and marine personnel to disembark ships in port and transit through their territory (i.e. to an airport) to allow crews to be changed and seafarers to be repatriated.

    The circular letter reiterates earlier calls made by IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim, who said it was "crucially important that the flow of commerce by sea should not be unnecessarily disrupted." He took the opportunity to repeat his own statement that seafarers are "on the front line of this global calamity" and that the situation needs a "practical and pragmatic approach, in these unusual times, to issues like crew changeovers, resupply, repairs, survey and certification and licensing of seafarers."

    The Circular Letter confirms that, in this time of global crisis, it is more important than ever to keep supply chains open and maritime trade, transport and services moving.

    It calls on governments around the world to develop their policies and measures to protect public health and address COVID-19, without introducing obstacles to ship and port operations, including the movement of seafarers and marine personnel. Governments and national authorities are strongly encouraged to ensure that all visiting commercial ships continue to have access to berths in port and terminals.

    In the Circular Letter, the Secretary-General referred to the outcome of the G20 Leaders' Summit on COVID-19 on 26 March 2020, in which the G20 leaders committed to continue working together to facilitate international trade and coordinate responses in ways that avoid unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade.

    The leaders pledged to "work to ensure the flow of vital medical supplies, critical agricultural products, and other goods and services across borders, and work to resolve disruptions to the global supply chains, to support the health and well-being of all people."

    Read more:

    Download Circular Letter No.4204/Add.6 (27 March 2020) Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Preliminary list of recommendations for Governments and relevant national authorities on the facilitation of maritime trade during the COVID-19 pandemic

    Further advice, recommendations and information can be found on the IMO Coronavirus page here:

    IMO – the International Maritime Organization – is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.


    Published on: 02 April, 2020 @14:41:17 [Tags: 2019-nCoV - IMO - Seafarers - COVID19 - SARS-CoV-2]

    A) Order the below actions to be taken by your watch keeper charged at the Gangway when you expect a visitor!
       1. Gangway watch keeper should always;
            a. Wear examination gloves, safety goggles and standard surgical mask.
            b. Supplied with an Infrared Thermometer to check & diagnose the body temperature of any guest coming
                on-board for any reason
                i. Cut-off point for rejection of a Visitor: >= 37.5 °C or >= 99.50 °F
                ii. Don’t forget! You have the moral and legal rights to reject any visitor above this body temperature for your
                    own crew safety!
                iii. If all going well;
            c. Give a standard disposable examination gloves to be worn by the guest who shows normal heat
                signs (37.00°C – 37.49°C)
            d. give a standard surgical mask (no matter about its specifications) to be worn by the guest
            e. Do not let any visitor to be on-board without above precautions and gears on even they have the safe
                body temperature levels!

       2. Do use disposable cups, plates etc. if you serve any drink or dish for your guest. Please call your steward
           to exterminate the used disposals at a separate Medical Waste Bag. Do not forget to land-off this waste via
            your “secure & reliable” agent at your convenient port.

    B) How to keep safe interior of the life areas of your vessel;
       1. Consider to prohibit or limit your crew to be on-shore
       2. Use Sodium Hypochlorite Solution (3 to 6% - in common “bleach”) for surface cleansing within all common areas
           including desks, and any probable touching locations.
       3. If your believe your vessel is completely protected against the outside sources of the mighty virus spread, except
           the gangway watch keeper, none of your crew has to wear breathing protection masks on-board.
       4. Tell your crew to wash their hands with soap at least 20 seconds regularly. If washing is not available let them
           use hand cleansing solutions with a concentrate of “at least 60% ethanol” after any suspicious contact.

    C) What to do if you are suspicious about an infected crew?
       1. Isolate the suspected crew(s) immediately
       2. Give “ Pandemic Protection Kit*” to your attended crew who will solely contact with the suspicious patient(s)
       3. Try to choose the attended crew among the youngest ones because of the higher immuno-protection levels
       4. Also isolate your attended crew before you reach to shore
       5. Call tele-medics for the medical advice and assistance after taking all above precautions

    Medical Attendant Kit (for self-protection)
    ***against virus spread diseases***

  • 1x Protective Coverall with Hood, Disposable, Elastic Wrist, Large, White
  • 2x FFP1 ventilated protection mask
  • 4x Nitrile gloves (blue) Large
  • 4x Shoe cover
  • 1x Hand/Skin Disinfectant foam 200 ml btl
  • 1x Safety glasses
  • 1x Biohazard Medical Waste Bag

    >> DOWNLOAD PDF   This document is copyrighted by NavalX® and forbidden to copy without written permit.
  • Published on: 12 March, 2020 @17:04:13 | [Tags: Seafarers - Self Protection - Coronavirus - COVID19 - Contamination - Pandemic]
    Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) advice for the public from WHO

    Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus

    Wash your hands frequently

    Wash your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    Why? Washing your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water kills the virus if it is on your hands.

    Practice respiratory hygiene

    When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
    Why? Covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing prevent the spread of germs and viruses. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you may contaminate objects or people that you touch.

    Maintain social distancing

    Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever.
    Why? When someone who is infected with a respiratory disease, like 2019-nCoV, coughs or sneezes they project small droplets containing the virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

    Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
    Why? Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself.

    If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
    Tell your health care provider if you have traveled in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or if you have been in close contact with someone with who has traveled from China and has respiratory symptoms.
    Why? Whenever you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing it’s important to seek medical attention promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have a range of causes, and depending on your personal travel history and circumstances, 2019-nCoV could be one of them.

    If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China
    If you have mild respiratory symptoms and no travel history to or within China, carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered, if possible.

    As a general precaution, practice general hygiene measures when visiting live animal markets, wet markets or animal product markets
    Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with hands; and avoid contact with sick animals or spoiled animal products. Strictly avoid any contact with other animals in the market (e.g., stray cats and dogs, rodents, birds, bats). Avoid contact with potentially contaminated animal waste or fluids on the soil or structures of shops and market facilities.

    Avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products
    Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

    World Health Organization
    Published on: 06 February, 2020 @16:51:54 [Tags: 2019-nCoV - Coronavirus - COVID19 - SARS-CoV-2]
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