Maritime Declaration of Health. When a vessel arrives at a port to which health regulations apply, the master may be required to make a report about the health conditions on board his vessel and also about any circumstances on board which are likely to cause the spread of infectious disease. He needs to make a report if his ship is not a “healthy ship”.
The ship can be an “infected ship” if it has on board on arrival a case of a disease subject to the International Health Regulations or other infectious disease or where a plague infected rodent is found on arrival. A ship is a “suspected ship” if it does not have on board persons who have certain diseases but which has called at some infected places before arrival or where there was cholera on board before arrival or where there is evidence of abnormal mortality among rodents, the cause of which is unknown. A vessel is a “healthy ship” if it is neither infected nor suspected.
Some ports will require even a master of a healthy ship to make a Maritime Declaration of Health despite being given free pratique. The Declaration contains details of the vessel, the place of issue and date of its deratting or deratting exemption certificate (these are valid for six months), the number of passengers and crew and the list of points of call from the commencement of the voyage with the dates of departure. Then follow six questions concerning:
(a) the outbreak on board of plague, cholera, etc.;
(b) plague or abnormal mortality among the rats or mice on board;
(c) the non-accidental death of any person on board during the voyage;
(d) any infectious disease during the voyage;
(e) the presence of any- sick persons on board on arrival;
(f) other condition on board which could lead to infection or the spread of disease.
Depending on the answers to the questions the vessel could be placed into quarantine.
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