The Ghana Maritime Authority (GMA) has directed all seaports to prevent any ship whose crews are suspected to be infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) from entering the country.
The GMA issued an urgent circular to all its agencies following concerns that crews of ships docking in Ghana may be importing the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus into Ghana.
The circular signed by the Deputy Director General (Operations & Technical) of GMA, Mr Daniel Appianin, and sent to all port facilities on Wednesday, March 18, 2020, said even though, the authority will be on a strict lookout for potential Covid-19 carriers, it will not want to disrupt trade activities at the port.
“…all port facilities are to ensure, where appropriate, that passengers can embark and disembark, cargo operations can take place, ships can enter and leave shipyards for repair and survey, supplies can be loaded and crews exchanged while observing the strictest safety measures.”
Meanwhile, the GMA has directed the suspension of services to seafarers for the next two weeks, beginning 16 March 2020.
The circular said the suspension will be reviewed after the two weeks to determine if the situation warrants an amendment.
The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Thomas K. Alonsi, said the authority was acting in concert with the directives of President Nana Akufo-Addo, who last weekend issued sweeping restrictions
With the world facing grim prospects of a major economic meltdown, the IMO is keen to avoid large-scale disruption of trade and supply of essential goods.