Recently there has been a spike on demand for PPE from the seafarers that want to protect themselves.Yet, it has been observed that scamm companies are sending emails offering deals on coronavirus PPE.

So, it is important to be aware that some sellers could be:

  • Scammers – the buyer pays for the goods, but they never arrive
  • Providing sub-standard equipment which offer inadequate protection

It is likely that we will see an increase in the wearing of face masks and disposable gloves as countries’ lockdown measures are loosened. In some countries it may be a formal recommendation. But as things stand, keeping your distance from others remains your best defence in not only protecting yourself from COVID-19 but also to reduce the risk of passing it on to others.

Wearing PPE does not mean you no longer have to practice social distancing. Keep your guard up.

On the other hand, testing kits play an important role today due to the pandemic. It is reported that there are two different types of testing kits. The Virus test (or swab test) checks for presence of the genetic signature coronavirus. This tells whether an individual currently has COVID-19. The antibody test looks for the body’s immune response to the virus and can tell an individual if they have been previously exposed.

The quick testing kits based on the antibody test are becoming increasingly available. However, some governments are currently advising against their use.

For example, Public Health England warn:

  • There is little information on the accuracy of the tests
  • There is little information on how a patient’s antibody response develops or changes during COVID-19 infection.
  • It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable
  • There is no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a community setting
  • There are also concerns that allowing testing kits to be available on the free market will divert resources desperately needed for testing healthcare workers and those patients requiring hospitalisation.

Clinics can provide virus tests, which in theory can produce a result within several hours. However, this is dependent on waiting times, so be aware that some in some cases, crew have waited a number of days before receiving their test result and during this time they must remain in isolation.