Government issues SOP for allowing in-bound passengers on international cruise

The government has issued a protocol for allowing passengers coming in via international cruise, in light of the coronavirus breakout. In-bound passengers with symptoms will be quarantined on the ship itself, the government said.

Passengers with travel history from COVID-19 affected countries will not be allowed to board the cruise and only those international cruise ships which had planned and intimated their call to an Indian Port not later than 1st January, 2020 will be allowed to call on such port.

International cruise ships will be allowed only on the ports which have thermal screening facilities for passenger and crew, the ministry of shipping said in a statement on Wednesday.

“If any passengers or crew show symptoms of the disease, disembarking of such passengers or crew will not be permitted,” the government said, adding that the passenger will be quarantined of the ship and will be allowed to disembark only once the test is negative.

Samples of the patient will be collected and sent to designated hospital or lab for testing, and if it is tested positive, the passenger will be taken to the isolation facility attached to the Port.

“Cruise ships need to take special measures to prevent coronavirus affected patients to board the ships in the first place,” the statement said.

Meanwhile boarding will be automatically denied to any person, who in around two weeks before travel, has had contact with those with travel history to mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Iran, South Korea or Italy, or any other affected country. This exercise will be done on a self-declaration basis, the government said.

Railways ramps up precautionary efforts

Meanwhile the ministry of railways has ramped up efforts to keep the disease from spreading, with officials taking continuous meetings to ensure that awareness is being spread about the disease across railway stations in the country.

Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal has directed the Railway Board to ensure that adequate prevention measures are put in place across Indian Railway system.