Coronavirus roadblocks at ports placed seafarers at risk
According to the International Ship Suppliers & Services Association (ISSA), the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic which is taking hold around the world that leave seafarers without essential medicines and supplies as well as important spare parts.
Some ports have denied entry to some vessels due to past port calls in areas infected by coronavirus, forcing others to sail off without taking on the essential supplies they need to work.
ISSA, which works for the interests of the world's ship chandlers, said it fully supports global steps to slow the spread of coronavirus outbreak but added that the industry will work together to protect those employed both onshore and at sea.
Saeed Al Malik, ISSA president, said the organization had already given guidelines to its 1,600 members around the world on how to stay safe when delivering supplies to port vessels, but he acknowledged that the challenge faced by suppliers was getting tougher because of the restrictions that ports imposed on ships entering their terminals.
Yet leaders of the ISSA have also found out that in certain situations they are prohibited from boarding some ships and stopped providing necessary helmets, overalls and protective equipment for the PPE.
ISSA is a non-governmental member of the International Maritime Organization and has raised questions about the manner in which some ship manufacturers are refused entry to ships in certain ports around the world.
Maritime Business World