Anvisa Publishes COVID-19 Preventative Measures

Preventive measures means any reasonable measures taken by any person in response to an incident, to prevent, minimise, or mitigate loss or damage, or to effect environmental clean-up.

Earlier this month, Anvisa released a Technical Norm with measures and actions to be taken against the coronavirus. The Agency recommended that anyone working at points of entry into the country, such as ports, airports and borders, should wear surgical masks.

Ships flying foreign flags can only berth at Brazilian ports if they have a Free Pratique Certificate issued by Anvisa. Inspection for the purpose of issuing a Free Pratique Certificate is a procedure adopted a long time ago by Anvisa and follows the rules of the WHO.

The Free Pratique Certificate is requested by the ship between 48 hours and 24 hours before the ship arrives at the port, allowing Anvisa to evaluate the ships operational and hygienic-sanitary conditions and the health status of crew members, based on the analysis of the information presented upon request and/or a health inspection carried out on the vessel.

The new Technical Norm states that now any vessel that called at Chinese Ports in the last 30 days, must present a Medical Logbook – which brings all records of health events on board – when requesting the issuance of a Free Certificate Pratique.

After evaluation, it will be defined if the Crew member will be discarded as a suspect, kept on board in quarantine or removed to a hospital to be designated. If the virus is confirmed, the ship may undergo disinfection or quarantine. And if the suspicion is not confirmed, the Free Pratique will be issue.

The DMS must be filled out correctly and in a complete form for evaluation regarding the issue of Free Pratique.

As defined by the Ministry of Health, China is the country considered an area affected by 2019-nCov and, when filling out the DMS, it must be so noted.

Anvisa also recommended the use of personal protective equipment by pilots, employees of the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police, the SVA and the Brazilian Navy and other workers who are in direct contact with crew members from China, such as Port Workers, ship agents, among others.

The Agency announced yesterday on their website that it is adopting an additional measure, verifying the origin of the crew members who recently boarded the ships. In this case, the Agency has also checked the place of embarkation to see if there is a possibility of suspected coronavirus.

Therefore, if the situation worsens, the Government now has a legal provision that allows temporary restriction of access to foreign ships and crew in Brazilian Ports.

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