All ports on constant vigil to prevent coronovirus spread: Shipping ministry

Kolkata, Jan 31 (PTI) All ports have been asked to scan people disembarking from ships to prevent spreading of the deadly coronavirus through sea route, a senior official said on Friday.

A global emergency is declared by the World Health Organisation over the outbreak of coronavirus as the deadly virus continues to spread outside China.

'India has already issued advisories and put processes in place on coronavirus. The situation is monitored closely at the top level,' Satinder Pal Singh, joint secretary in the shipping ministry, told PTI.

He said the government will review the situation and will do the needful. Singh was in the city to attend the Annual Shipping Conclave, organised by the Bengal Chamber.

In the wake of spread of the virus, the government has asked all ports to scan everyone who disembarks from ships, he said.

Advisories issued to shipping liners suggest crews to follow certain guidelines for all ports of calls and not just for China ports as it has turned into a global emergency.

Bengal Chamber chairperson S B Mazumdar said a set of questionnaire is sent to all ships for all details before arriving at the port.

Kolkata Port Trust has already started  scanning of crews who called upon the port. KoPT chairman Vinit Kumar said 'no new directive from the government has arrived after what has been sent so far. We are adhering to those.' PTI BSM MKJ