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16,076 crew, passengers on board ships from China stopped from disembarking at Indian ports

A shipping ministry official said as per WHO guidelines, scanning of all on the vessels is being done and all necessary facilities is being extended to them

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New Delhi: As many as 16,076 crew and passengers onboard ships from China or having travel history to affected countries have not been allowed to disembark at Indian ports, a shipping ministry official said Thursday.

However, all possible assistance and help are being provided to these passengers and crew — onboard 452 ships anchored at designated places — as per WHO guidelines in case of any fever or symptoms.

“As many as 452 ships with EXIM cargo and 16,076 crew and passengers have arrived at Indian ports so far from China or a travel history to countries affected from coronavirus. As a precautionary measure to prevent any outbreak, we have not allowed the passengers and crew to disembark but ships were allowed to anchor at designated places. The cargo was brought with all precautions.

“No shore pass is being issued to the crew/seafarers having travel history from the infected countries,” the official told PTI.

The official said that as per WHO guidelines, scanning of all aboard on the vessels are being done and all necessary facilities were being extended to them.

The protocol is being maintained with all help in case of fever or sickness to those on board.

The official added that at Paradip port a crew member onboard Chemstar Stellar developed fever, and he along with his wife were evacuated and transferred to SCB Medical College, Cuttack for further testing. The vessel had departed from Zapu, China on February 10 and had reached Paradip Port on 1 March.

All required protocols are being followed.

India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — that handled 699.04 MT of cargo during 2018-19. There are about 200 non-major ports under the control of states.

Also read: Coronavirus impact on India’s trade estimated to be $348 million: UN report


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