Handling of sick or injured crew

19 Oct 2020 / Shanghai, China

Shanghai Pneumonia Prevention and Control Office has advised improvements in handling sick or injured crew from international navigation vessels during the coronavirus pandemic.

Crew illness or injuries inside Shanghai waters are handled through in the ship search and rescue system. If treatment onshore for an injury is required, after double checking by the shipping company, the case should be immediately reported to the search and rescue centre immediately (MSA). Upon receipt of the rescue aid request, the MSA should report to the nearest customs, immigration and health departments.

The local health authority should, in conjunction with the relevant departments, deal with the request as follows:

  • If the illness or injury is not life-threatening, in principle, customs shall complete inspection and sampling on the ship and after test results are issued, the shipping company transports the injured crew member via isolation ambulance to hospital for proper treatment.
  • In case of life-threatening or urgent cases, customs may conduct investigation and sampling on the ship, while the shipping company immediately transfers the sick or injured crew member by isolation means to the medical hospital designated by the health department.
  • If the customs fail to take samples on board in case of emergency, the health department may arrange for joint sampling and joint testing under the hospital and the customs. Further treatment measures shall be taken according to the test results.
  • Remote health guidance may be given to crew members who are judged not to need to be treated off the ship.
  • The shipping company shall arrange the transfer vehicles in advance to transfer of sick and injured crew members.
  • In principle, the crew members should return to the ship after completion of medical treatment.
  • If they cannot return due to objective reasons, for Chinese crew to go home, the local epidemic prevention and control department of the hospital, together with transportation, economic information, agriculture and rural departments, should implement the quarantine requirement of 14 days as per strict quarantine requirement.
  • For foreign crew to leave China, an exit plan shall be made by the shipping company, arranging the vehicle and flight to transfer the foreign crew directly from the hospital to exit airport. If it is really necessary to wait for transit flights, a closed isolated point will be arranged to wait for the transfer flight. If truly difficult to arrange a flight, time off ship is more than 14 days, and the nucleic acid test is negative, the shipping company may arrange other suitable places for crew to rest and wait for the transfer flight.
  • In cases of confirmed or suspected pneumonia from a novel coronavirus, fever that may be infected with pneumonia from a novel coronavirus or close contact of the confirmed patient, customs must test all of the ship’s crew. If necessary, the departments of health, customs, MSA, immigration, information, communications and agriculture and rural shall carry out the disposal of the ship and its remaining crew members.

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