Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) has made changes in its operations in effort to calm nerves of restless employees after two of them succumbed to Covid-19.
Every ship from countries with confirmed Covid-19 cases will be subject to elaborate inspection as directed by harbour master in consultation with the port health office, the agency has directed.
Ships docking will also be required to make a mandatory pre-arrival reporting at least 48 hours before arrival while only Kenyans and permanent residents will be allowed to disembark.
Masters of all ships set to arrive in a Kenyan port are required to declare their last 10 ports of call or voyage memo for the last three months.
They will also be expected to ensure that there are no crew showing symptoms of Covid-19 on board and ensure the highest level of hygiene is observed.
“It shall be prohibited for anyone to board a vessel before the completion of the health inspection of the crew or passengers,” said acting managing director Rashid Salim.
“All visitors should use protective disposable masks and latex gloves while on board and should dispose of them on board before disembarking in a special disposal bin,” Mr Salim added.
The KPA also suspended ship crew change until further notice with the exception of Kenyan crew and persons with valid resident permits.
On Tuesday, the Dock Workers Union threatened to disrupt operations at the port of Mombasa, citing weak measures to protect workers from Covid-19.
Simon Sang, the union’s secretary general, said the number of dock workers being taken for quarantine was a worry and the Ministry of Health ought to intervene.
There will be mass testing of KPA employees, the ministry responded on Tuesday.
“We would like to assure our staff and the entire port community that no efforts shall be spared to ensure the port remains a safe working environment,” said the acting KPA managing director.