The EU & IMO recently issued new guidelines requiring ship operators to implement pre-boarding screening of seafarers. To assist ship operators comply with these important new guidelines and help protect their vessels from an outbreak of COVID-19, Martek Marine (Martek), part of James Fisher and Sons plc, has launched the CoronaSafe TM finger prick antibody screening test.
From just a single drop of blood, CoronaSafe TM will detect IgM antibodies within 5-7 days of infection and is particularly useful to detect infections amongst subjects who show no symptoms and would otherwise embark undetected.
A study into the COVID-19 outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess estimated that between 20.6% – 39.9% of cases were asymptomatic, whilst a recent study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that up to four-fifths of cases are asymptomatic.
The CoronaSafe TM test is approved and certified by the European Union as meeting the safety, quality & performance requirements of Standard IVDD 98/79/EC – the highest standard applicable for these devices.
It’s also in wide scale use by authorities/corporations in Japan, China, Germany, Poland, Indonesia and is formally certified by CFDA, Philippines FDA & Singapore Health Sciences Authority.
Martek’s CEO Paul Luen commented:
“Screening crew before boarding is a critical step to prevent avoidable transmission from an asymptomatic crew member. It’s also an important diagnostic tool for re-screening after leaving or if someone shows symptoms. The effect of an outbreak on a ship could be catastrophic in both business and human terms.”
Major corporations worldwide are rushing to adopt these occupational screening tests to help control the spread of this deadly virus, with demand rising rapidly as the crisis deepens. Martek, which has limited supply of the tests, are urging shipowners to act quickly to define their policy for crew screening, in order to maintain the health of their employees and ensure continuation of their shipping operations.