Procedure Department of Public Health when there are sick passengers on board of a cruise ship

ORANJESTAD- The Department of Public Health (DVG) informs about its process and procedure when there are sick passengers on a cruise ship.

Travelers who return from a trip on a cruise ship, many times complain that they became sick while on board.

This is because of different factors, but one main reason is the agglomeration of many persons in confined spaces. This makes it possible for the transmission of viruses, among others vomiting, diarrhea, flu and others that make transmission from one person to the other very likely. 

Procedure Department of Public Health when there are sick passengers on board of a cruise ship.Recently, due to the alarming situation of the Novel Coronavirus, the SVG took notice that the Caribbean Islands are not allowing entry to cruise ships because there are sick persons on board. For the SVG it is important for our community to be informed that they have processes and procedures in place in case a ship informs the DVG that there are sick passengers on board. This is nothing unusual and does happen more times.

The process consists of monitoring the health of the passengers and crew for 48 hours before the ship arrives in Aruba. This takes place according to a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) that the ship sends where the medical team on board specifies how many sick people are on board, what the symptoms are, what precautions were already taken, whether there are passengers that are isolated and more important data that helps the DVG to get a better look into the situation present on board of the ship.

Based on this information the DVG will contact international organizations such as the Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu (RIVM) for advice, if necessary. With all the receives information, a decision will be made whether to allow the ship entry to our harbor or not. Upon the ship’s arrival, the personnel of the Department of Infectious Diseases will go on board to make the inspections if required

Because another island denied entry to a cruise ship is not a reason for our island to also do the same. If we reach this decision in Aruba, we must motivate our decision well due to the international treaties Aruba has signed. Herewith the DVG wants to emphasize that after completing the process and coming to the conclusion that a ship can be a danger to the public health on Aruba, entry of a cruise ship will be denied if required 

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