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Health Checks For Ship From Ebola Zone

Cornwall News
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7:01am 24th October 2014

Crew on the ship heading for Falmouth from the ebola zone could have their temperatures taken.

Health officials say they will check in by radio every day before they arrive to see if any of the sailors are ill too.

The Gypsum Centennial from Sierra Leone is due to dock for a two week refit next month.

Officials insist the risk is very low.

The Chief Medical Officer admitted earlier this week that she did not know about the impending arrival but health officials have now written to St Ives MP Andrew George, who asked her about it during a meeting of the Health Select Committee.

Mr George said: "Precautions need to be effective and proportionate. We will keep this under review and I report back to the Health Select Committee."

You can read the letter on health precautions here...

Dear Andrew,
 
Thank you for sharing yesterday the local concerns about the ships en route to Falmouth from Sierra Leone, which we understand are due to arrive in the middle of next month.  I wanted to assure you that PHE colleagues locally are aware of this and will be engaging proactively with the ships' captains and crew. Specifically, they will:
 
- reiterate to the ships' owners their responsibility and potential liability for ensuring their captains provide complete and transparent declarations in the maritime declaration of health forms;
 
- email/fax a copy of the UK port screening questionnaire to the captains to complete for each person on board, preferably after departure, and send it back to us ahead of time. This questionnaire will be adapted as appropriate from that used in airports;

-    daily radio contact - in the last 4-5 days prior to the vessels' arrival, the receiving port/Maritime and Coastguard Agency will have daily crew health updates by radio with the captains; and
 
- temperature screening - on arrival, we will consider temperature screening of all people on board before allowing unrestricted access to the population.
 
I hope this is reassuring but please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or concerns.
 
Best wishes
 
Paul Cosford
Director for Health Protection and Medical Director

7:01am 24th October 2014

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