Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)



 28 January 2020


On 27 January, the World Health Organisation (WHO) charted the Novel Coronavirus epidemic as follows: 


2798 confirmed


2741 confirmed
5794 suspected
461 severe
80 deaths

Outside of China

37 confirmed
11 countries
China Very High
Regional Level High
Global Level High

Typical symptoms include fever, coughing and respiratory difficulties.

Having initially introduced a lockdown in Wuhan, China where the disease originated, the Chinese authorities have now put five cities in quarantine and cancelled air links with Wuhan.

Although human to human infection is thought to be possible, the vast majority of the 37 confirmed cases outside China concerned people who had recently been in Wuhan.

Countries around the world are introducing screening measures at entry points such as airports and ports in the hope of avoiding a worldwide epidemic.

In France, the Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has issued a trilingual flyer in French, English and Mandarin for travelers who have been staying in China, or are intending to do so.

On 27 January, ship agents received a memorandum from the Port of Marseille-Fos confirming that the sea links between Wuhan and Dourges have been suspended and advising that the flyer should be distributed to all vessels which have called in China.

The flyer advises that anyone suffering from the symptoms of a respiratory illness should:

  • Wear a surgical mask when others are present;
  • Use disposable tissues and wash hands regularly;
  • Contact the French medical emergency services (SAMU – call “15”) and tell them of any journey to Wuhan (or China).

To reduce the risk transmission, people with novel coronavirus-type symptoms are requested not to go to a hospital or general practitioner.

As China continues to encourage its citizens to restrict their movements, countries around the world are taking up the World Health Organisation’s advice on preventive measures and screening passengers arriving from China and Hong Kong.

International cruise companies and airlines have been reviewing their cancellation policies for passengers suffering from the virus’ flu-like symptoms.

A major Chinese P&I Club has advised its members to report any potential coronavirus case, limit crew changes, ensure that their crews remain on board when calling in countries where the coronavirus is present, limit access on board for non-crew members, avoid consumption of raw or undercooked animal products and prevent cross-contamination between food products of animal origin when preparing and storing foods.

We are monitoring the situation across our network of offices in France, Africa, China and South-East Asia.



Sarah Penwarden
Budd Marseille-Fos

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