COVID-19: NIMASA bans int’l vessels without screening facilities

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA , Dr. Bashir Jamoh has announced that following the current outbreak of COVID-19 and the need to mitigate the spread especially through shipping activities, , the Agency has developed Guidance to support all types of ships that operate in the Nigerian maritime domain and banned all vessels without thermal screening facilities from operating in Nigerian waters .

Dr. Jamoh stated that the purpose is to help shipping companies and all maritime stakeholders to follow advice provided by United Nations agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the International Labour Organization (ILO), as well as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

According to him the outbreak has necessitated stringent measures that can help curb the spread while not totally grounding the Nigerian economy.

“These are trying times and we must pull through together that is why we have directed that all maritime stakeholders develop risk assessments and safety intervention guidelines for their personnel and operations on the areas of vulnerabilities of their maritime operations that can be affected by the COVID 19 pandemic including but not limited to offshore operations such as crew/personnel changes, visits from onshore and other locations for provision of supplies, maintenance and repairs etc” Jamoh stated.

He also disclosed that the Agency would be coming up with the publication that would elaborate on the guidance which also includes schedule for ongoing offshore operations requiring new crew or crew changes from affected countries to ensure that pre-departure tests for COVID 19 are conducted on such persons, and self-isolation procedures for the prescribed period are instituted for such new crew/personnel before exposure to other personnel.

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