2019 new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

05 Feb 2020 / Panama Canal, Panama

The Panama Canal Authority is concerned with the recent outbreak of the 2019 new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which has generated an International Maritime Health Association Advisory.

The signs and symptoms associated with the infection with this virus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and in more severe cases, it could lead to pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

The average incubation period for the Coronavirus is approximately seven days, and infection from human-to-human may occur during the incubation period, before the infected person shows any signs of illness.

The following countries have reported confirmed cases of the virus: China, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Germany, Macau, Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, United States of America, France, and Australia.

It is imperative that vessels arriving at Panama Canal waters, for port calls or transit, after having called at ports located in any of these countries, or any other country with confirmed cases of the virus, and having identified any suspected case on board demonstrating any of the above-mentioned symptoms, report this condition through the Panama Maritime Single Window (VUMPA), within 30 days prior to their arrival. This is necessary in order to take appropriate measures to prevent the possible spread of this virus in the Republic of Panama.

Such measures include, but are not limited to, boarding the vessel by sanitary health authorities in order to investigate any cases; use of personal protective equipment, such as masks, by ACP personnel, or holding the vessel in quarantine as a precautionary measure.

(For information about operations in Panama, contact GAC Panama at [email protected])

Source: Panama Canal Authority Advisory To Shipping No.A-04-2020

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