Ships in Quarantine as Brazil Struggles With COVID-19

The shipping industry continues to find itself caught in Brazil’s struggles with the COVID-19 virus. The ports, which are vital to Brazil’s economy, are being challenged to manage operations with several ships being quarantined as the country’s health officials attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
Ships in Quarantine as Brazil Struggles With COVID-19

The shipping industry continues to find itself caught in Brazil’s struggles with the COVID-19 virus. The ports, which are vital to Brazil’s economy, are being challenged to manage operations with several ships being quarantined as the country’s health officials attempt to stop the spread of the virus.

Brazil was the first of the South American countries to report cases of the virus in February and continues to have the highest number of cases in the region. According to the World Health Organization, Brazil recently became the country with the second-highest number of confirmed cases of the virus – nearly 400,000 as of May 26 – and it is currently reporting the world’s highest number of daily deaths from the virus.

Experts have cautioned with its densely populated urban slums and rampant poverty, Brazil is both highly vulnerable to virus and likely to remain a hot spot for some time to come. Indeed, the World Health Organization cautioned of regional spread of the virus across Latin America saying that Brazil and the Americas are developing as the new global hot spot for the pandemic. WHO forecasted that the infections and deaths would continue throughout the region during the next several months.

While health officials are struggling with COVID-19, Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro has ignored advice to take more significant steps toward containment and mitigation. Bolsonaro has spoken against measures such as lockdowns, quarantines, and social distancing saying that this would only weaken Brazil’s economy.

The shipping lines are finding themselves caught in Brazil’s struggle to come to grips with the disease and to enact meaningful controls. In recent weeks, several ships were detained for quarantine of their crews in Santos, the region’s largest container port, and now reports are surfacing of similar problems spreading to other ports in Brazil.

The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (Anvisa) is overseeing all the efforts, monitoring the movements of ships and crews requiring reporting of all health issues. They have been overseeing COVID-19 testing and the implementation of quarantines.

May 30, 2020 13:03
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