India on Wednesday prohibited entry of any international cruise ship, crew or passenger with a travel history to coronavirus-hit countries post-February 1, 2020 to its major ports till March 31.
To prevent the spread of the deadly virus, the Ministry of Shipping said it will allow only such international cruise ships to call on its major ports that had intimated their call to the ports by January 1, 2020.
“Only those international cruise ships which had planned and intimated their call to an Indian Port not later than 1st January 2020 will be allowed to call on such port.
“Any international cruise ship or any member of its crew or any passenger therein having a travel history of visiting any of the Covid-19 affected countries… since 1st Feb 2020; will not be permitted to enter any Indian port till 31st March 2020,” the Ministry of Shipping said.
The government said international cruise ships will be allowed only at ports having thermal screening facilities for passengers and crew members.
If any passenger/crew member of cruise ships show symptoms of coronavirus, disembarking will not be permitted, it added.
India has 12 major ports — Deendayal (erstwhile Kandla), Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (earlier Ennore), VO Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — that handled 699.04 MT of cargo during 2018-19. There are about 200 non-major ports under the control of states.
The government last month had directed all 12 major ports to immediately put in place screening, detection and quarantine system for disembarking seafarers and cruise passengers as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Shipping had issued necessary directions to the 12 major ports to “place a screening, detection and quarantine system immediately for disembarking Seafarers or Cruise Passengers”.
Directions had also been issued to ports to procure N-95 masks as well as thermal scanners to screen passengers, besides obtaining self-declaration from arriving crews/passengers.
India has so far reported 60 coronavirus cases.