22/03/2020

COVID-19: Ghana's Protective Measures

STOP PRESS

We have just heard from Budd Ghana that all the country’s land, sea and air borders will be closed from midnight tonight, 22 March 2020.

It is not yet known if or how this will modify emergency disembarkation of non-Ghanaians from vessels calling in Takoradi or Tema.

 

COVID-19:  Ghana’s Protective Measures

 

In the fight against COVID-19, Budd Ghana reports that all cruise ships are now banned from berthing in Ghana.

Furthermore, according to travel advice issued by Ghana’s Ministry of Information, from 15 March 2020, no non-resident or foreign visitors arriving from a country with more than 200 COVID-19 cases will be allowed to enter Ghana.

Any Ghanaian nationals or residents will be allowed to return to Ghana but they will be obliged to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Where shipping is concerned, the Ghana Port Harbours Authority (GPHA) has set up an interagency committee to initiate and apply standard operating procedures (SOPS) in the ports of Takoradi and Tema.

On 17 March, the Committee distributed this circular to all port stakeholders outlining the new SOPS which state that vessels calling in Tema and Takoradi must now follow the following procedures:

ü  7 days before their expected arrival, vessels should complete and return by email the attached COVID-19 form;

ü  When the vessel comes within the 25-mile VHF signal zone, it should start emailing daily updates on the crew’s health to the Harbour Master and the Incident Commander in his capacity as the Director of GPHA Health Services.  Full contact details are provided in the circular.

ü  Before berthing, all vessels arriving in Tema and Takoradi must anchor at Quarantine Anchorage pending clearance by Port Health Inspectors.

ü  Fully-gowned Port Health inspectors will use the GPHA launch to board the vessel where they will screen crew members by taking their temperatures and reviewing both their COVID-19 forms and their Maritime Health Declarations.

ü  If a suspected case is found

·        A sample for testing will be taken from the suspected case and any crew members who have been in contact with the suspected case will be confined to their cabins.  If necessary, the suspected case will receive first aid on board.

·        The vessel must fly the yellow flag and both national and port security forces will ensure that nobody enters a 100 m perimeter around the vessel.

·        The launch boat used to board the vessel will be fumigated.

·        GPHA expects test results to be available within 6-12 hours.

 ü  If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 onboard:

·        The confirmed case will be evacuated taking strict precautions to avoid contagion.

·        The vessel will be quarantined at anchorage for 14 days.

ü  If the result is negative but the sick crew member needs further medical attention, he will be disembarked for treatment at Tema General Hospital and the vessel will be allowed to berth in the usual manner.

ü  If no suspected case is found, the vessel will be authorized to berth.

 

Information provided by

 

Budd Ghana

budd.ghana@budd-pni.com


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