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Update on screening measures for COVID-19 in South Africa

24 February 2020
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Screening measures for novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been put in place at all South African ports.

South Africa’s Department of Health has forwarded to a number of local ship agencies an internal memo dated 11 February 2020, for information. The memo states at the outset that free pratique should not be withheld for vessels arriving direct from China outside the incubation period, if the master declares on the pratique application that the vessel is healthy.

It goes on to state that Port Health Officials are to thoroughly interrogate all applications for free pratique, noting any information relating to crew changes, in particular:

  • date the crew change took place;
  • port where the crew change took place; and
  • country from, and date on which, the crew member departed in order to give effect to the crew change.

Port health officials are to use this information to determine whether all crew on board are outside the 14 day incubation period for 2019-nCoV.