Mumbai: Mumbai Port Trust has taken proactive steps to combat novel coronavirus in India. The fatal virus has claimed over 600 lives in China.

The trust has asked the vessel agents and master of foreign vessels coming from countries affected by 2019-CoV (CoronaVirus) of China to inform Harbour Master (HM) or Port Health Officer (PHO). They have urged the agents to inform through email about crews suspected of virus Infection with details including name, nationality, age, sex, symptoms and history of the previous visit to China.

A self-declaration will be obtained from the crew/passengers with history of travel to China and also those who belong to Chinese origins.

"N95 masks and other Personal Protective Equipment have been procured and issued to the doctors, pilots and concerned officers likely to come in contact with vessel crew and passengers. Signages have been placed at prominent locations for creating awareness against the disease. Regular coordination and liaison are maintained with Port Health Officer (PHO) and DG of Health Services. SOP has been framed and circulated to vessel agents and concerned," a release of Mumbai Port Trust said.

Till February 4, Mumbai Port has screened 158 crew members and 19 passengers from vessels either coming from China or having a history of travel to the coronavirus-hit country.

However, no crew/passenger showing symptoms of coronavirus has been detected.

An isolation ward has also been created at Port Trust Hospital in case any crew or passengers show symptoms of coronavirus and an ambulance is kept on standby in the docks in case of an emergency.

According to the release signed by chief PRO VR Joglekar, passengers having a history of travel to China are being screened with a thermal scanner.

"For crew of the vessel coming from China and SouthEast Asia and crew/passengers who have visited China in the last one month, shore leave/ shore excursion is not being allowed," it said.