COVID-19 – UPDATE: CREW SAILING IN INTERNATIONAL WATERS APPLYING FOR URGENT MEDICAL TREATMENT IN TAIWAN
Published: 24 December 2020
Our exclusive correspondents in Taiwan have provided the following update regarding Taiwan’s anti-pandemic measures, particularly as far as whether crew can receive treatment ashore during pandemic period in Taiwan.
Considering crews sailing in International Waters and calling international ports might expose themselves to risks of catching COVID-19, but could still require medical treatment at hospital for non-infectious disease such as injury, toothache or cellulitis. Taiwan CDC therefore issued and implemented “Urgent Medical Treatment Operation Procedure for Transit Crews Working on Vessels Sailing in International Waters or Ports between Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, Xiamen and Fuzhou during COVID-19 Pandemic.”
We wish to draw your attention that under the new measure, crew’s condition shall be first evaluated by “Treatment on Telemedicine” to decide if the crew need to receive treatment at hospital. The only exception is if crew is haemorrhaging, delirium or vital signs are not stable, Master can just notify relevant authority and arrange crew for urgent medical treatment per The Seafarer Act without having crew evaluated by “Treatment on Telemedicine” first.
As there is no English version of the new measure, we therefore prepared a flowchart for your easy understanding.
Meantime, we noted ILO’s recent ruling demanding MLC signatory states “to adopt the necessary and immediate measures to ensure that the required facilities are put in place in relation to transport, testing and quarantine in order to receive their seafarers currently abroad and allow others to join their ships.” We’ve verbally asked if MPB will be responding to ILO’s such ruling and the answer was no. As Taiwan is not a major “marine labour” country and there is no restriction for Taiwan crew to come home, so we presume Taiwan authorities would not be inclining to ease or facilitate the current restriction for foreign transit crews changes.