In the backdrop of increasing number of cases of COVID-19 in India,preparedness of all Major and Non Major ports in India was reviewed today under the chairmanship of Shri Gopal Krishna, Secretary, Ministry of Shipping.
Secretary discussed the nitty-gritty of the present scenario with the Chairpersons of all major and minor ports as well as officials of State Maritime Boards through video conferencing. Officials of the Ministry of Health and Family welfare, Bureau of Immigration,Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of External Affairs were also present during the meeting.
Deliberating the emerging global scenario, the Secretary requested a co-ordinated and collective approach against COVID-19 by one and all to avoid its spread through sea ports. He emphasised all officials to adhere to the instructions and advisories being issued by the Ministry of Shipping in letter and spirit. He directed all ports to ensure availability of thermal scanners and sufficient Personal Protective Equipment as per guidelines of Ministry of health. All ports handling EXIM cargo and handling cruise ships have been instructed to take special precautions and ensure 100% thermal screening of the crew/passengers, Self Declaration from the Crew/passengers and tie-up with the regional unit of NDRF for third party check at ports. Immediate instructions have been issued to stop disembarkation of the crew/ passenger having travel history from the infected countries.
All ports have been directed to procure thermal scanners and necessary protective gears as required, setting up of isolation wards and ensuring medical facilities and subsequent treatment availability as per guidelines of the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. It was highlighted that in total 16076 passengers from 452 ships have been screened, so far, at various major/ non major ports.
Senior officials of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare present during this review meeting, explained to the all concerned port authorities regarding the thermal screening process, detailed health check-up of crew and setting up of quarantine facilities in coordination with respective local medical authorities.