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Coronavirus preventing ships from taking on supplies

The International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA) has warned that seafarers could suffer as ships find themselves unable to take on essential medical supplies and provisions as a result of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

ISSA stated that the decision by some ports to refuse certain vessels entry because of previous port calls at Coronavirus-affected areas has meant that some are left to sail off without taking on the vital supplies they may need. This can mean that seafarers may be left without medicines and provisions as well as spare parts.

Saeed Al Malik, President of ISSA, said the association had already issued guidance to its 1,600 members worldwide on how to keep safe when delivering supplies to vessels at port, but he acknowledged that the task facing suppliers was getting tougher because of the restrictions ports were placing on ships visiting their terminals.

“Ships need supplying and while it is important that our members adhere to the health advice and terms and conditions of the ports they are servicing, ship owners and port and terminal operators need to work closely with our sector to ensure their ships and crew are looked after effectively,”
he said.

According to ISSA, its members have already complained that in some instances they are being prevented from boarding certain ships and stopped from supplying essential masks, overalls and PPE safety equipment.

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