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Recommended Guidance For Covid-19 Testing & Quarantine Requirements For Seafarers Joining Ships

The World Health Organization (WHO) and International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) have recently issued COVID-19 guidance in regard to both testing and the quarantine of seafarers in advance to their joining vessels.

The WHO has updated its list of globally approved, authorized and recommended manufacturers, and specified polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests, which can be used by shipowners in liaison with their own healthcare providers. The list can be found here.

Members should also ensure that their health care providers follow the protocols as set forth by the WHO interim guidelines, Laboratory testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in suspected human cases.

WHO has also advised on the current suitability of saliva tests and whether these are of value or not in verifying whether someone has COVID-19. Nasal and throat swab testing is the preferred sample type and is consistently more sensitive and reliable than saliva. If nasal and throat swab testing is unavailable, then saliva testing is the next best option, albeit not as reliable.

In addition, IMHA has issued, Getting healthy seafarers to a ship: Mitigating the risk with quarantine and testing providing interim guidance on best practices given the current state of knowledge about COVID-19, for the safe transport of seafarers to ships.
Source: The American Club

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