01-2020: Coronavirus – Guidance

Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new, or novel, type of coronavirus – a large family of respiratory viruses which can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

Further information can be found on the World Health Organisation: website

In response to the emerging situation and the advice given by the World Health Organisation; Officers from the Port Health teams have implemented enhanced surveillance measures for the Harwich Haven Ports.

A Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan, maintained by Port Health and its partners, is in place to respond to any significant issue.

All vessels that have called at any Chinese port are now required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) – a document from the International Health Regulations that contains information about health on board a ship.

Officers of the Port Health Authority are also undertaking assessment of onboard documentation and providing health protection information.

Checks so far have all been negative, however Port Health remains vigilant and are monitoring the international developments closely.

In addition to the above guidance any vessel with crew members or passengers displaying relevant symptoms that have called at any Chinese port are also required to notify Harwich VTS at the earliest opportunity and in any event before pilot embarkation takes place.

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