Preventing and controlling diseases onboard has always been of utmost importance, as a ship is a closed environment and the disease could easily spread among the crew like a fire in the forest, possibly affecting the safety of the ship, cargo and the people, if not treated in an effective and timely manner.
With the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak last year, dealing with a disease onboard has become a challenge due to the high transmissibility of the virus. Medical handling of a suspect case onboard is one of the most difficult issues to face.
Suspect cases onboard should be treated in accordance with an effective COVID-19 contingency plan, but most importantly, medical stores onboard should be enriched with additional quantities of related medical items.
According to WHO, the following suggested medical supplies for COVID-19 should be available onboard, except items 14-26 of the Medical Kit, which should be provided and used by Port Health Authority:
- Fever and pain medication
- Alcohol-based hand rub Bottle
- Sodium lactate compound solution
- Examination Gloves
- Surgical Gloves
- Impermeable gowns single use
- Scrubs (Tunic/tops – Trouser/pants)
- Surgical masks for medics and patients
- Face shield – (PPE)
- Bag, mask and valve
- Bio-hazardous bag
- Facial oxygen masks
- Guedel tubes
- Hand drying tissue
- Hand hygiene supplies
- Infusion giving set
- Nose masks
- Pulse Oximeter
- Safety bag and box
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