Brazil’s National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) issued procedures for boarding and disembarking of vessels’ and platforms’ crew, in order to prepare for potential serious COVID-19 cases in autumn.
- Before the date scheduled for departure, crew members must comply with a quarantine period of 14 days at home or in the hotel, at the shipowner’s discretion. Such information on quarantine form / location must always be available to the health authority when requested.
- During the home quarantine period, shipping companies / shipowners and Platform operators must monitor the health of the crew and provide guidance on preventive care. These actions must be carried out by health professionals responsible for remote monitoring (remotely – tele consultation) of the crew. During the health assessment, crew members will be asked, at least twice a day, for the presence of signs and symptoms (including information on body temperature).
- During the quarantine period in hotels, shipping companies / shipowners and Platform operators must monitor the health of the crew and provide guidance on preventive care. These actions must be carried out by health professionals responsible for remote monitoring (remotely – tele consultation) of the crew. During the health assessment, crew members will be asked, at least twice a day, for the presence of signs and symptoms (including information on body temperature).
- Crew members who, within the 14-day period of health monitoring, show respiratory symptoms and / or fever must be prevented from boarding and must perform home isolation for at least 14 days from the date onset of symptoms. The crew member should be instructed to seek health care in the event of a worsening general condition, especially shortness of breath.
- In the situation of a symptomatic crew member, the determination of the isolation measure will be made by medical prescription that must be accompanied by the patient’s free and informed consent form, provided for in Ordinance No. 356 of March 11, 2020, Annex I.
- The crew member should be instructed to inform if a person who shares the residence with him has a positive diagnosis for COVID-19. In this situation, all residents are also in compulsory isolation for 14 days, starting from the onset of symptoms.
- Crew members who, within the 14-day period of health monitoring, do not show symptoms compatible with COVID-19 will be able to board. In this case, the company must provide the record of the health assessment carried out in the previous 14 days and on the day of departure.
- The health assessment of the fit-to-board crew member, carried out on the day of departure, should be sent to the local health authority for knowledge, including performing a quick test whenever possible.
- The transfer from the residence to the boarding place must be carried out following the standard precautionary recommendations and using a fabric mask. The journey cannot take place on public transport and must be made using a private vehicle, provided by the company. The crew member should be instructed to remain in the rear seat, with the windows open and without using an artificial climate system (air conditioning).
- Before boarding, guidance on preventive measures to avoid contamination by SARS-CoV2 must be reinforced with the crew. Crew members should also be advised as to the procedures to be adopted in the event of a health event on board, as established in the “protocol – detection and handling of suspected cases of covid-19 in ports, airports and borders” and the local Contingency Plans.
- The return to work of crewmembers who remained in isolation can only occur after the disappearance of symptoms and a new health assessment. And the return to work will be conditioned to the crewmember being asymptomatic for at least 72 hours.
- Shipowners and platform operators must concentrate the landings of suspicious cases in the places with the best service support, with the authorization of the Sanitary Authority, observing the places indicated by it.
- The authorization for the disembarkation of Brazilian crew members with mild symptoms to comply with isolation, at home or in hotels, will take place through medical evaluation (as defined in the local Contingency Plan) and guarantee of safe travel to the place defined for isolation.
- A suspected case must be notified of the isolation measure for at least 14 days, determined by medical prescription (doctor defined by the company/maritime agency), with the completion of the consent form provided for in MS Ordinance nº 356 of March 11, 2020, Annex I. The crew member should be instructed to use a surgical mask to the place where he/she should stay in isolation and seek health care in the event of a worsening of the general condition, especially shortness of breath.
- In addition to the use of a surgical mask, travel to the isolation site cannot take place on public transport and must be carried out using a private vehicle, provided by the company. The crew member should be instructed to remain in the rear seat, with the windows open and without using an artificial climate system (air conditioning). The driver should also be instructed to wear a surgical mask.
- Close contacts should also be advised about the need for isolation for 14 days. The isolation measure by recommendation will be made through express notification to the contacting person, duly substantiated, observing the model provided for in Annex II of Ordinance nº 356 of 11 March 2020.
- Health professionals designated by the company must accompany the crew member daily, during the entire period of compliance with the isolation. If requested by the Port Health Authority, the records of the health assessment carried out during the isolation period must be sent daily.
- The disembarkation of an asymptomatic crew member, after the fulfillment of his/her embarked workday, should occur after a health assessment, including the performance of a quick test, whenever possible. In the case of a report of symptoms or a positive result of the rapid test, the crew member should be instructed as to the need for home or hotel isolation.
Use of quick tests
- The performance of quick tests can be part of the health assessment, depending on availability.
- If it is necessary to prioritize the use of the tests, we recommend that they be used on the crew members who present signs and symptoms. It is noteworthy that, in these cases, the greatest effectiveness of the tests occurs after the 7th day of symptoms.
- It should also be noted that the negative result of the rapid test should not impact the adoption of current health recommendations for COVID-19, considering the possibility of false-negative results.