A crew member on a vessel reported feeling unwell with high temperature and a cough - Covid-19 symptoms. A further 8 passengers reported developing symptoms. 5 were unaffected but had a been in close contact with rest of the crew.
Following advice from national Covid-19 helpline, members were isolated and self-monitored, and advised to call national emergency number if the subjects went into convulsions.
With support of coastguard and port authorities, vessel was held in port. Crew and passengers showing symptoms were isolated in a hotel for 14 days. Those with no symptoms were sent home to isolate according to national rules. Medication was provided to help reduce temperature and monitored over 3 days.
Vessel was quarantined for 72 hours, whilst commercial decontamination contract was established. Vessel was deep cleaned daily to minimise spread. Vessel crew in full medical standard personal protective equipment (PPE) were required to prepare vessel to allow contractor access. Vessel was decontaminated, including the use of ‘fogging system’. Personal clothing was washed at over 60C. Other PPE was left on vessel for decontamination.
Why did it happen?
The virus that causes Covid-19 (SAR-COV-2) is highly infectious, even before symptoms appear.
Small vessels are confined spaces where crew and passengers are at a relative short distance from one another.
The crew member with symptoms was in close proximity to crew and passengers.
What did they learn?
Vessel operator has reviewed and updated their Covid-19 actions, with increased emphasis on pre-boarding screening and preventative isolation before boarding.
Pre-planning for Covid-19 incident:
- Put in place contingency plan in advance with industrial cleaning company.
- Prepare to isolate vessel for up to 7 to 10 days. National advice should be sought, ideally in advance.
- Crew will be required to prepare vessel and will require comprehensive PPE.
Incident management: Inform coastguard, port health and national health authorities as soon as possible of possible Covid-19 outbreak. Have a clear communication plan in place to avoid confusion.
Ask yourself or your crew
How can something like this happen here?
What are your Covid-19 prevention protocols? (Remind your crew of these)
Is your vessel equipped with PPE to minimise the risk of contagion?
In case of an outbreak:
- How can you rapidly contact health authorities? (Remind your crew about the communication plan)
- How can infected occupants be safety isolated?
Add to homescreen
Select existing category:
A crew member on a vessel reported feeling unwell with high temperature and a cough - Covid-19 symptoms. A further 8 passengers reported developing symptoms. 5 were unaffected but had a been in close contact with rest of crew.