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ICS sends delegation to Geneva to meet with WHO officials to discuss coronavirus

THE International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) secretary general Guy Platten will head a delegation of industry leaders to meet with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva

02 March 2020 - 19:00

THE International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) secretary general Guy Platten will head a delegation of industry leaders to meet with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.

This comes as the coronavirus is having a significant impact on the shipping sector and the industry is working closely with the WHO to ensure that guidelines for industry and governments help curb the spread of the outbreak, whilst maintaining international trade.



The ICS is currently working on updated guidance for industry. Mr Platten will be joined by representatives of other shipping industry bodies and shipowners, including Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) who are also based in Geneva, in the meeting with senior representatives of the WHO and International Maritime Organization (IMO).



Ahead of the meeting Mr Platten said: 'We have a special obligation to ensure the safety and health of seafarers and passengers. We have proposed a collaboration with WHO to evaluate and refine best practices regarding managing health threats in a shipboard environment.



'We hope this effort will help provide some additional clarity and consistency for shoreside authorities when addressing ships during a health emergency. The maritime industry, especially ICS and its members, are fully committed to these efforts.



'Our thoughts are especially with the Chinese people and the maritime industry is standing ready to be a powerful engine that helps them recover when this situation improves.'



ICS and its members are taking every precaution necessary to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. To this extent, ICS has been advising all members to closely follow its WHO-backed guidelines on how to limit the risk of infection. With the number of infections continuing to rise globally, ICS and the WHO are continually updating health guidelines.



Mr Platten added: 'The impact of the virus on shipping has been substantial. It is estimated to be costing the industry US$350 million a week in lost revenues. More than 350,000 boxes have been removed from global trade. Global supply chains continue to suffer, and issues remain around the quarantining of ships at ports.'


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