We refer to Bulletin 20 - 10/97 Hantavirus state of alert in Peru. We have now received further information issued by the Director-General of Harbour Masters' Offices and Coast Guard on the 5th May 2000 in respect of actions to be taken by vessels arriving from all foreign ports at which HANTVIRUS has been reported to exist. This follows a circular from the Peruvian health authorities advising that Panama and Bolivia have now been included on the list of countries that have had deaths from Hantavirus.
Callao, 5th May 2000.
That in certain countries the presence has been detected of a highly contagious virus called "HANTAVIRUS", transmitted by rodents, which has caused a series of victims; That one of the ways in which the illness can be spread is by sea, due to the presence on board merchant ships of infected persons and/or rodents; That in accordance with Article A-010201 of the "Regulations Concerning Harbour Masters' Offices and Maritime, River and Lake Activities", approved by Supreme Decree No. 002-87-MA, it is a function of the Maritime authority to exercise the control of water traffic-reception, stay and despatch of ships in ports, at anchorages and in sovereign waters under national jurisdiction; That ArticleA-050201 of said Regulations establishes that all ships which arrive at an operative port of the Republic must be received by the Maritime Authority, as well as by the corresponding state organisations, in accordance with the respective regulations; That Article A-050215 of the aforementioned Regulations orders that the Maritime authority will ensure compliance with the requirements that the Health Authority may issue, as well as compliance with health regulations, and Article A-030305 that harbour masters will determine, in conjunction with the Health Authority, the quarantine anchorages; That when the presence of the virus called "HANTAVIRUS" is reported on ships hailing from foreign ports, it is necessary to make the necessary emergency provisions for the arrival and reception of ships hailing from Argentine and Chilean ports, in order to safeguard the health of the population; In accordance with what has been co-ordinated with the Ministry of Health and recommended by the Director of aquatical Interests;
IT IS RESOLVED:
a) All ships arriving at Peruvian ports hailing from foreign ports of which there is information of having the existence of "HANTAVIRUS" should go to the area assigned by their respective agents and or the Harbour Master.
b) Once the ship is at anchor in the assigned zone the Harbour Master will arrange the visit of representatives of the Health Authority in his jurisdiction, for the purpose of carrying out the sanitary inspection on board.
c) In the event that sanitary inspection reveals the possible presence of the "HANTAVIRUS" - or it is detected - on board, the Maritime Authority, in coordination with the Health Authority, will arrange for the ship to anchor in the quarantine zone so that the sanitary actions established for such cases may be carried out. The port agent representing the ship as well as the consular authority of the flag state, will be notified of this measure.
d) When the Health Authority determines that the ship inspected offers no kind of risk, the procedure established for the arrival of ships from foreign ports will continue.
e) When the health authority considers that there is no risk to the health of the population, they can suspend temporarily the inspection, being in the obligation of notifying this Directorate, the period of said suspension and the nationality of those ships exempted."
Source of information:
Overseas Service Agency S.A.
through Kevin Sandom(L2)
Tel +51 1 442 9090
Fax + 51 1 442 2334
E-Mail: osa@osa .com.pe