On the 25 August afternoon, Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu province reported that the Provincial Standing Committee would remain the social-distancing regulations following Directive 16 in 14 days on province scale, starting from 0 AM 26 August (only Côn Đảo district continued following Directive 15). Accordingly, the province’s People Committee has delivered an official document regarding a temporary adjournment on all fishing vessels participating in sea activities from 0 AM 26 August until there is any further announcement.
According to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the fish port management groups in the area, after supervising, have fully outlined plans, scenarios and solutions in order to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and simultaneously do business following the province’s instructions.
Based on statistics from the beginning of August until recently, the number of fishing vessels loading seafood at the fish port was at the rate of 64 ships per 750 tons of seafood. There would be 100 upcoming fishing vessels expected to continue docking in ports. However, in fact, the effortless supervision of transports and residents coming to the harbors and the mild implementation of regulations would result in a high risk of unsafety in controlling the COVID-19.
The fish port is not able to supervise and manage the movement of the seafood-loading team, whose workforce is based in various areas (including areas having high infected cases). Moreover, the fish port works on a daily basis, which involves a lot of people and many attached services (ice water, fuels, production facilities, ships, crew members, etc.), thus, difficult to control. Consequently, this would scale up infection risk from the fish port to outer areas and vice versa.
In order to control, locate and trace all infected cases and the related ones in the fish port area, the Department recommended Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu People’s Committee to allow fishing vessels to suspend, and not to work on any activities on the sea until there are further announcements.
Currently, there are several off-shore fishing vessels that are expected to dock at the port to unload seafood in the next few days. The Department proposed the province instruct the local fish port to resolve all those off-shore vessels docking in to unload fish so as to avoid the stuck and damaged seafood, meaning not to cause casualties for fishermen.
Besides, this implementation needs to strictly follow the social distancing regulations, the 5K regulation and some other mandatory requirements:
The seafood-unloading force of any ship is required to use their own crew members (after presenting the negative COVID-19 test papers), to load and unload goods directly onto transport vehicles, and not to sort seafood at the fish port.
After the loading is completed, the captains let their ships leave the port in a rapid manner and anchor them at certain places arranged by the border guard.
The drivers of seafood-transporting vehicles and the seafood owners have to present the negative COVID-19 test papers (available in 72 hours). When entering the fish port, they are not allowed to leave the vehicles’ cabins.
Ship owners are not allowed to enter the fish port to avoid COVID-19 infection from the outer side of the area and vice versa.