The Cyprus maritime sector is taking all necessary measures to protect crews and passengers from coronavirus outbreak that is affecting international trade with public health a primary concern, as well as the wellbeing of shipping firms, said Deputy Shipping Minister Natasa Pilides.
Briefing the media on the junior ministry’s activities in the two years since it was established, Pilides said coronavirus has slowed down imports of raw materials in China and exports of goods.
“It has also had an impact on shipping, which is the primary mode of transport for most of the world trade.”
However, the deputy ministry is taking measures to ensure this is having the least possible impact on Cyprus-flag cargo vessels, as well as enhancing inspections prior to the arrival of all ships in Cyprus ports.
“We have issued directives and advice for the safe approach of ships to Cyprus ports, as well as for the safety of seamen and passengers on all Cyprus-flag vessels around the world.”
“We are cooperating very closely with the Ministry of Health and inspecting ships approaching Cyprus ports,” Pilides said.
She said, fortunately, as the summer tourist season has not yet started, the crews onboard ships are small and there are no cruise ships docking in Cyprus with large numbers of passengers, especially from high-risk countries.
“The safety of our own inspectors is of utmost importance, as we do not want them to be exposed to any virus, but also the safety of crews and passengers.”