Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new, or novel, type of coronavirus – a large family of respiratory viruses which can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to the Middle-East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
Further information can be found on the World Health Organisation website.
In response to the emerging situation and the advice given by the World Health Organisation; Officers from the Councils Port Health team have implemented enhanced surveillance measures at the Port of Felixstowe.
A Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan, maintained by Port Health and its partners, is in place to respond to any significant issue.
All vessels that have called at any port in China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau are now required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) – a document from the International Health Regulations that contains information about health on board a ship. Further information can be found on our website here.
In addition all vessels that call at Felixstowe must inform Port Health if anyone on board the vessel has been to any of the nine countries listed above in the 14 days prior to the vessel arriving in Felixstowe, or if they have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 infection within the 14 days prior to the vessel arriving in Felixstowe.
Officers of the Port Health Authority are undertaking assessment of the documents and information supplied, and are providing health protection information.
Checks so far have all been negative, however Port Health remains vigilant and are monitoring the international developments closely.
Advice from Publich Health England can be found here.
UK government advice and updates can be found here.
Specific advice for ship operators has been issued here.
Stopping the spread of viruses
To help stop the spread of viruses such as flu you should:
- Always carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue;
- Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs