State urged to provide reagents for testing seafarers

Written By: Christine Muchira
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Seafarers boarding a fishing vessel at Liwatoni Fishing Complex
Seafarer boarding a fishing vessel at Liwatoni Fishing Complex

Shipping and Maritime stakeholders are calling on the government to provide reagents for testing seafarers for COVID-19 virus.

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According to CEO Mombasa Ocean Agency Idd Mussa, the results take almost a whole week since they have to be taken to Kilifi, which is delaying crew changes leading to job losses.

In July, the government agreed to International Maritime Organisation – IMO request to allow crew change through the Port of Mombasa after the COVID-19 pandemic forced maritime states to close their borders, leaving thousands of people stranded aboard ships in the high-seas for months.

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Kenya joined 13 countries that agreed to the new international measures to open up borders for seafarers and to increase the number of commercial flights to expedite seafarers repatriation efforts following an international crew change summit held in London 9th July, 2020.

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Mussa says the decision by the government to make Mombasa a crew change port has revived the hopes of an industry that is already ailing.

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Crew disembarking and those boarding must be tested for COVID-19 to mitigate the spread of the virus.

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Over 1000 Kenyans working at the maritime industry have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

Also read https://www.kbc.co.ke/seafarers-covid-19-pandemic/

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