Malaysia has announced that it won’t be allowing sign-off of foreign nationals crew at Malaysian ports during the nationwide movement control order. Announcing the order, Malaysian Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong has revealed that foreign crew members won’t be allowed to sign off between 12th May to 7th June.
The decision has been taken to counter the rising covid19 cases in the country. During this time, only Malaysian would be allowed to disembark and quarantine at a government-designated hotel for 14 days as per the strict protocol underlined by the Malaysian Health Ministry.
The ministry has taken into account the rising public concerns related to standard operating procedures of the shipping industry. The Marine Department of Malaysia, JLM, will be keeping in touch with port authorities, relaying do’s and don’ts for ships. This is likely to include crew changes, ship-shore interactions, prohibited activities etc.
The directives have a proper guideline for covid affected vessels. Although the newest guideline has been developed to prevent the spread of the triple mutant covid strain from India vessels from the country aren’t banned altogether. They have to undergo the health ministry scrutiny then they can dock. Based on the vessel condition, the decision of quarantining them at sea would be taken.
Meanwhile, the dockworkers have been reminded to use face masks, latex gloves and PPE while interacting with ships. Any other worker will not be permitted to enter ships
All cargo operations would have to be done by dockworkers including those on deck and in cargo holds. They will not be allowed to interact with the ship crew while lashing, stevedoring or other such work onboard the ship.
Ship pilots on the other hand have been asked to wear PPE and face shields while piloting ships. The SOPs will determine how the cargo is handled on foreign vessels and would be done by the Port authorities after JLM permission have been obtained
The country has been continuously improving the guidelines in order to ensure safety, security and sustainability in the transport and logistics industry.