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Web alert: Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

30 July 2014
The club is aware of and continues to monitor the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa and is aware that the World Health Organisation (“WHO”) has reported a further increase of cases in the region. It is understood that between 21 and 23 July ninety-six new cases and seven deaths were reported from Liberia and Sierra Leone. There were also twelve new cases and five deaths in Guinea during the same period. The cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola in these three countries stands at 1,201 (including 672 deaths) as of 23 July.
 
The Standard Club is guided by the views and recommendations issued by WHO in respect of this outbreak and advises members to remain vigilant and fully updated with regards to the spread of Ebola.
 
We would advise all of our members who trade in West Africa to be well aware of the current guidance issued by WHO. Although WHO has not recommended any trade or travel restrictions to Guinea, Sierra Leone or Liberia (as of 27 July) it is clearly of utmost importance for members to monitor the health and wellbeing of their crews and take all necessary precautions to prevent infection.
 
In this regard it is considered prudent to advise crews to remain onboard vessels whilst in ports in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia in order to reduce the risk of coming into contact with individuals carrying the virus. Crews should also be clearly instructed to report any of the known initial symptoms of Ebola immediately, and in the event of any member of crew falling unwell whilst in a high risk area immediate advice should be sought from experienced medical services or a company doctor.
 
Members should also be aware of any increased health inspections or procedures at various ports in the region. For example the club understands that the Senegalese Maritime Authorities currently require all vessels arriving from countries with reported or suspected cases of Ebola to be declared at least 24 hours in advance and be prepared for thorough inspection at anchorage by the Health Authorities.
 
For further information members are also directed to the very regular updates in respect of Ebola published by WHO on its website.