NSA Update: Ebola outbreak – 18.08.2014

Below is an information overview of the ongoing Ebola outbreak with a particular focus on health advice, preventive measures and travel restrictions. We have included information posters that can be useful on board vessels calling at ports in Ebola affected countries (currently Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria ).

The World Health Organization (WHO) has labelled the outbreak as a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” and reported a death toll of 1145 as per 15 august. Link Note that several land borders between the affected countries are closed, and preventive health measures are in place. See more information here, in our previous update. Information posters and general advice: According to the WHO, the Ebola virus is not airborne and infection can be prevented by means of basic sanitary measures. Information to crew about these measures is therefore vital. A number of informative posters have been made by the health authorities in the affected countries and by intergovernmental agencies. UNICEF has compiled a number of such posters in French, English and Portuguese. You may find such examples here, and the WHO travel advice here. Ebola information aimed at ship masters/ crews / owners - Overview: The three global shipping related bodies ICS, IMEC and ITF have issued a joint advisory: see here. 1. The Master should ensure that the crew is aware of the risks, how the virus can be spread and how to reduce the risk. 2. The ISPS requirements on avoiding boarding by unauthorized personnel should be strictly enforced while in port. 3. The Master should give careful consideration to granting any shore leave whilst in impacted ports. 4. The ship-owner/operator should avoid making crew changes in the ports of an affected country. 5. After departure the crew should be aware of the symptoms and report any occurring symptoms immediately to the person in charge of medical care. Should you suspect that a crew member has fallen ill with Ebola, you may find this advice (issued by the Marshall Islands Maritime Authority, based on WHO recommendations) useful: https://www.register-iri.com/forms/upload/MSAdvisory_45-14_Revised.pdf#search=ebola Filipino seafarers. POEA guidelines NSA Contingency Planning Secretariat The Philippines oversea employment agency (POEA) has issued guidelines for Filipino seafarers, including a restriction specifically for newly hired seamen to travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea: http://www.gov.ph/2014/08/11/poea-issues-guidelines-on-ebola-prevention-for-seafarers-and-manning-agencies/ For more detailed information regarding the applicability of such regulations for Filipino crew on Norwegian owned vessels, please consult mr Pål Tangen at the NSA (pt@rederi.no)  The UK P&I Club has issued a Q&A related to claims should a ship be quarantined or unable to reach its destination due to the Ebola outbreak. http://www.ukpandi.com/loss-prevention/current-claims-ebola-virus/  The Maritime and Port authority of Singapore has issued some information and useful recommendations: http://www.mpa.gov.sg/sites/circulars_and_notices/pdfs/shipping_circulars/sc_no_13_of_2014.pdf General Travel Advice - Ebola Affected region: In general, the advice is to uphold basic hygiene/washing hands, avoid contact with sick persons or corpses. Bush meats and contaminated food should also be avoided.  World Health Organization (WHO) – Ebola travel advice http://www.who.int/ith/updates/20140421/en/  Norwegian Institute for Public health – Ebola travel advice: (in Norwegian) http://www.fhi.no/tema/ebola/reiseraad  Norwegian ministry of Foreign Affairs: (in Norwegian) http://www.landsider.no/traveladvice/Norske-helsemyndigheters-helsefaglige-reiserad-for-Guinea-Sierra-Leone-og-Liberia/  The European disease control centre: http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/press/news/_layouts/forms/News_DispForm.aspx?List=8db7286c-fe2d-476c-9133-18ff4cb1b568&ID=1041 NSA Contingency Planning Secretariat Port information and travel restrictions Some countries have introduced travel restrictions against Ebola affected countries. The WHO is urging governments not to impose travel and trade restrictions citing that the risk of Ebola transmission while traveling by air is low. See here for full WHO statement. Most ports in Western Africa and Nigeria reportedly function normally. There have been reports of a quarantined vessel at Cape Verde but this has not yet been confirmed. Skuld has published an updated overview of the situation at ports both in West Africa but also in other parts of the world. The full update can be found here. The update also gives useful information about ports in Latin America. Kenya is shutting its borders (including its airport in Nairobi) to travelers coming in from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea as of date. The US Coast Guard will review all notice of arrivals to determine whether a vessel has visited a country impacted by the Ebola virus outbreak within its last five ports of call. Such vessels are required to report any sick or deceased crew member: https://www.uscg.mil/msib/docs/012_14_8-7-2014.pdf Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health will not issue Umrah and Haj visas to pilgrims from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. UAE is monitoring the situation. The Dubai based airline, Emirates has suspended its flights to the region. Qatari authorities are reportedly on high alert but urge for calmness citing the low transmission risk. British Airways has suspended flights to the Sierra Leone and Liberia. Flights are expected to resume on 31st August. So far it is the only European airline that has suspended its flights. See the map above which links to a recent Guardian article on this topic Shipowners with vessels calling at ports in Ebola affected countries should seek updated advice. Useful contact information. Norwegian resources: o Royal Norwegian Embassy Accra, Ghana +233 302744300 and/or +47 23954000 pluss nettside og epost Contact information/map, see here o Royal Norwegian Consulate, Freetown, Sierra Leone Consul General Mr. Arne Birger JOHANSEN Tel : +232 7680 1499 / 3023 2232, E-mail : arne.johansen@hcafrica.com NSA Contingency Planning Secretariat o Royal Norwegian Consulate General, Monrovia, Liberia Consul General Mr. Horst WALLWITZ Tel : +231 77364121, Fax : + 231 7772 0035 e-mail: horwiz@gmail.com / hwallwitz@yahoo.com o Consulat Général Royal de Norvège, Conakry, Guinea Consul Général M. Cheick Abdul KABA Tel : +224 631 37 098, e-mail : conakry.norcons@gmail.com o NSA crisis / incident management support +47 900 95001 Your comments and/or questions are welcome. Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, Contingency Planning Secretariat Crisis Management Support (24/7) +47 90095001 Haakon Svane, Director: Email - hs@rederi.no, Mob: +47 901 99 082 Line Falkenberg Ollestad, Consultant: Email - lfo@rederi.no, Mob: +47 924 41 860