Close  

Filipino seafarers barred from disembarking in Ebola-hit countries

By: - NewsLab Lead / @MSantosINQ
/ 03:51 PM August 11, 2014

In this photo taken on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, a public information board explains the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines – Filipino seafarers will not be allowed to disembark in countries in West Africa with confirmed cases of Ebola to prevent further spreading of the deadly disease that has already claimed nearly 1,000 lives, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said.

“There will be no shore leave for seafarers and no crew change in the ports of these countries in the meantime,” POEA administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said in a statement after the agency issued guidelines for seafarers and ship manning firms Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The World Health Organization (WHO) had already declared the Ebola outbreak as a “public health emergency of international concern” after confirmed cases in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria reached 1,776 as of August 6, 2014.

The death toll hit 961, prompting the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to issue the guidelines that aim to protect seafarers who would dock at those infected countries.

FEATURED STORIES

“The guidelines are issued for our seafarers’ welfare and protection. They could be vulnerable to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) due to the unavoidable circumstance where they have to interact with shore-based personnel who come on board ships to perform their respective duties,” DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said in the statement.

DOLE had also previously banned the deployment of all new hires after the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) raised crisis alert level 2 (restriction phase) last July 2, 2014.

POEA guidelines also state that crewmen should be given protective equipment.

Any signs or symptoms of the disease must be immediately reported to the ship’s medical officer.

“They shall report those who have fever, headache, intense weakness, joint and muscle pains, and sore throat to their principal/employer who, in turn, are required to coordinate with appropriate international marine medical providers to seek their guidance on ways to manage an EVD contamination on board,” Cacdac said.

Cacdac further urged ship manning agencies to adopt the following guidelines from several international maritime workers’ organizations:

  • The Master must ensure that the crewmen are aware of the risks, how the virus can be spread and how to mitigate the risk;
  • The ISPS Code requirements on ensuring that unauthorized personnel are not allowed to board the ship and should be strictly enforced throughout the duration of the ship’s stay in port; and
  • After departure, the crew should be aware of the symptoms and report any occurring symptoms immediately to the persons/authorities in charge of medical are onboard.

RELATED STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT

Ebola drugmaker’s shares surge after US eases restrictions

LGUs mobilized vs entry, spread of Ebola

Ebola alert at Naia

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Ebola, Features, Filipino seamen, Global Nation, ofws, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, World Health Organization
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.