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Panama’s top breadwinner defies virus as 50 ships a day transit canal

“The maritime sector is calm and working in order, providing confidence and transmitting tranquility to our customers,” says the president of the Panama Maritime Chamber (CMP), Nicolás Vukelja. Vukelja,

The maritime sector, including the Panama Canal, represents approximately a third of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and generates more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the CMP.

“It continues with its work and services in an orderly manner and abiding by the health and hygiene standards established by the Ministry of Health,” he added. The ships are supplied with food, water, and other products, services that are developed by the boats in the docks, repair services, tugs, maintenance, inspection, fuel supply and other services are still supplied

Among the security measures to protect the health of employees in the maritime sector from coronavirus, direct contact with the crew of ships arriving in the country is avoided, and only ships approved by the maritime authorities are served.

To offer their services, the personnel of the maritime companies use masks, gloves, alcohol gel, in addition to putting into practice other recommendations such as maintaining the recommended distance between people.

In the Panama Canal, where until last week there was a queue of more than 100 ships waiting to transit, the waiting time has been reduced from ten days to between four and five days, the entity reported.

To transit by sea, a ship is required to report its conditions on board through the Single Maritime Window of Panama (VUMPA). In case of non-compliance or giving false information, it is subject to penalties and restrictions.

The ship must report to the Ministry of Health when there are changes in the crew of the ships in the last 14 days and that they come from ports in countries where Covid-19 cases have been reported.

According to the Panama Canal Authority, ships confirm through a form previously completed in the VUMPA with the 9 questions included in the Maritime Health Declaration. In order not to interrupt the maritime services provided
Source: Newsroom Panama

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