It has been a year since the spread of the COVID19 virus around the world. There is no nation that didn’t have the virus so far and no human that didn’t have COVID19 Symptoms. Most of the nations had passed third waves of its community spread and four variants of the virus spread over. During the past one and half years, each port vessel call provides guidelines and precautions the crew must take while calling the port. Bundles of reports and clearance documents are produced in front of the authorities.
And yet today while you are reading this article, some ports like Singapore are increasing safety measures and establishing more stringent contactless operations to avoid casualties or positive cases during the operation. I will try to cover the most abundant COVID19 symptoms and the remedies onboard the ship.
Common symptoms of COVID19
Nasal symptoms such as running nose
Shortness of breath
Loss of smell
Loss of taste
Ship’s Medicine Chest
Inventory and stock list of medicines and medical equipment maintained in the ship are mainly based on the third edition of the International Medical Guide for Ships and amendment of recommended medicines and medical equipment published by IMHA 2009. This also including equipment for ships carrying dangerous goods and/or containers named MFAG/IMDG Code.
The medicine chest advised by World Health Organization (WHO) scales A for ship’s trading worldwide and having a crew of approximately 30 persons on board. The medicine chest certificate is renewed annually after a thorough check by an approved company or port health officer.
Therefore, the remedies listed down below include the medicines or at least substitutes available in the medicine chest based on scale A.
Remedies onboard the ship
If you observe Fever, monitor your body temperature, and please administer the below treatment with confidence.
Treatment: Crew without any underlying kidney or liver disease Panadol 1g 6 hourlies.
If observed fever on a crew who has kidney and liver disease, administer Panadol 500mg TDS or Uphamol 650mg TDS.
Seek Radio Medical Advice if you observe any sort of yellowish discoloration of eyes or nausea or vomiting or lower limb swelling. For more info regarding Radio medical advice please refer to ALDRS TMAS. In addition to those symptoms if core body temperature is persistently high despite above treatment beyond 39 degrees Celsius, please seek Radio Medical Advice immediately.
If any crew encounter Cough, follow these remedies. Observe gurgling and honey with ginger would give you relief. Also, administer T.Fexofenadine 180mg once daily or T.Cetirizine 10mg once daily +/- Syp. Bromhexine 10ml 3 times per day.
If you witness Nasal symptoms administer medicines to cough +/- Xylometazolin 0.1% 2 drops 3 times per day for one-week maximum. Moreover, continue doing steam inhalation. Steam inhalation does not cause fluid to develop in the lungs.
Shortness of breath. You may check Oxygen saturation using a pulse oximeter if the vessel is equipped with COVID19 medical equipment. Crew condition is well and good if saturation is above 95%. If below that monitor the casualty and seek Radio Medical Advice immediately.
What about remedies for other symptoms?
For all the symptoms, hydrate your body well, take proper rest. Make sure not to panic. Motivate all crew onboard the ship.
Wash your hands with soap and running water when hands are dirty. If your hands are not visibly dirty, frequently clean them by using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
Inorder to protect yourself and others from getting sick
Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
Wear protective gowns, gloves, and facial protection as much as practicable. Remove protective clothing after work, wash daily and leave at the worksite.
Disinfect equipment and working area at least once a day.
Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, when caring for the sick, before, during, and after you prepare food, before eating, after toilet use, when hands are visibly dirty, after handling animals or animal waste.
When coughing and sneezing cover the mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue. Throw tissue into a closed bin immediately after use.
Avoid close contact when you are experiencing cough and fever. Avoid spitting in public. If you have fever, cough, and difficulty breathing seek Radio medical advice or shore medical assistance early and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
The catering crew also can play an important role in prevention. They practice food safety. Use different chopping boards and knives for raw meat and cooked foods. Wash your hand between handling raw and cooked food.
Even in areas experiencing outbreaks, meat products can be safely consumed if these items are cooked thoroughly and properly handled during food preparation. Avoid contact with spoilt meat.