From FAQs and Port Requirements to Digital Dashboards, we have collated information and advice on the Covid-19 pandemic here. Members are advised to check back regularly for updates.
The International Group Clubs have developed an online portal to facilitate access to comprehensive information and data about country and port-specific measures to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. All Clubs will contribute information from their correspondents and other sources to ensure that the dashboard remains as up to-date as possible.
Additional information can be also found on the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) page as well as a joint statement from the WHO and IMO regarding the outbreak (links below).
A new poster has been added to the Club’s recently released REACT! series of medical and first aid posters that specifically addresses essential information related to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.
Covid-19 23 Jul, 2020New BIMCO clause to permit deviation for crew changes
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 across the world, one of the biggest challenges facing the shipping industry has been protecting the health and wellbeing of seafarers.Emily McCullochHead of Claims (Americas)
The Club has produced a set of FAQs to help guide Members on the most common questions currently being asked about the impacts of Covid-19 and the operation of Club cover. Please note that this is a dynamic list and will be amended and added to as the situation evolves. Members with any other questions are asked to contact the Managers in the usual way.
Given the current situation worldwide with the Covid-19 outbreaks, Members may experience delays and difficulties in obtaining treatment ashore for a crewmember who becomes ill with Covid-19 or similar symptoms. Please contact the Managers and/or local correspondents for assistance.
We recommend that Members contact the Managers to obtain up to date information regarding the restrictions, if any, existing in the intended port of refuge. These are changing rapidly due to the developing situation and could affect the ability to disembark the crewmember and obtain the appropriate treatment ashore.
Reimbursement of such additional wages would not be recoverable under a vessel’s P&I cover unless the crew were prevented from leaving the vessel due to an outbreak of Covid-19 on board. In the event, the crewmember had to extend the contract of service due to travel restrictions there would be no cover for such expenses.
As with question 7 above, additional wages for duplicate crewmembers who had joined the vessel and where those they were replacing were unable to leave and had to extend their length of service on board, would not be covered under the vessel’s P&I cover unless the inability to leave the vessel was due to an outbreak of Covid-19 on board.
As a result of the implementation of the “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) presently in force in the Philippines, which is effectively a total lockdown, restricting the movement of the population with exceptions, in response to the growing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the country, the 120/240 days period is unlikely to be sufficient time for the seafarer to obtain the necessary medical care, as it will lessen the frequency of visits that they can make to the company-designated physician. The ECQ may cause crewmembers to miss scheduled treatments and delay their recovery time, which could lead to a finding of total disability after the 120/240 days, whereas had the seafarer been able to complete their treatment in full, albeit beyond the 120/240 days, this could lead to a better recovery for the crewmembers. Consequently, Members may therefore wish to consider changes in approach to the medical treatment of Filipino seafarers.
What options are available to Members?
Depending on all the circumstances including the nature of the seafarer’s medical condition, it may be prudent to keep the seafarer at the place of disembarkation from the vessel and continue treatment there. This must however only be done with the express written agreement of the seafarer as well as the agreement of the local treating hospital or clinic and the relevant immigration authorities.
If the seafarer is being treated on their return home to the Philippines, Members may seek to agree to extend the seafarer’s medical care by 30 days (or more, depending on when the COVID-19 quarantine period is likely to be lifted). In so doing, however, Members should protect themselves by ensuring that:
- The seafarer agrees to the extension and makes a written request to extend their treatment up to the agreed number of days.
- That request is handwritten and in the language/dialect that the seafarer is familiar with.
- Medical report/s issued by the company-designated physician during the extended period should contain a statement that treatment will be continued upon written request of the seafarer.