Shed fear over presence of Iranian vessel at port, says Karaikal administration

Seeking to allay public apprehensions over the docking of an Iranian ship at Karaikal port, the district administration on Tuesday made it clear that cargo movement by seaports has been permitted by the Central Government, and that there was no cause for fear since the personal distancing protocol was under strict observance.

Urging the people ‘not to create undue panic or fear’, District Collector Arjun Sharma said the ship was under surveillance of the police and other authorities.

In its order issued earlier this month on dealing with COVID 19, the Directorate General of Shipping, Mumbai, said that shipping services were required to be operational for delivery of vital goods and essential commodities like fuel, medical supplies, and foodgrains, and to ensure that the economic activity of the nation is not disrupted.

“It is, therefore, important that the movement of goods by sea should not be needlessly disrupted without compromising the safety of life and protection of the environment,” the order said.

In compliance with the safety protocol, the district administration has not permitted any contact with the crew, the Collector said.

For vessels arriving from ports of infected countries, additional measures have been specified.

They include grant of prior permission for berthing as per necessary health protocols; sanitising mooring ropes and pilot ladders of such vessels; providing the pilot with full body protection suit; providing the mooring gang with adequate personal protection equipment; keeping gangway in raised condition in all times; and sanitising and disinfecting the vessel after the completion of cargo operations.