Cruises sail into a new era of COVID self-policing


They are the latest in a series of mixed reactions from the CDC – not only to the safe movement of travel but also to the many other Covid bans – as the council opposes the Omicron attack. It is a well-known example of the dangerous decisions that Biden officials and other officials have had to deal with for nearly two years with the epidemic, as they try to sift public health and vulnerable economies.

“We need to evaluate our chances and how we protect the community,” said US Virgin Islands Health Commissioner Justa Encarnacion, who has the authority to determine which ships are allowed to stop in U.S. territory. “We talk about cruises regularly.”

Donna Shalala, a former secretary of Health and Human Services and a former lawmaker in Florida, contributes to the ongoing maritime movement but acknowledged that CDC communications have been disruptive.

“I do not know how to explain except that I do not understand how they are making decisions in the CDC,” Shalala said. “I do not protest; I’m just saying I don’t understand. I think sailors do the best they can. “

CDC leader Rochelle Walensky defended the council’s decision in a Senate HELP Committee hearing this week, saying federal officials and shipping companies had agreed to keep the voyages even on Omicron.

He added that after the CDC banned shipping in the United States, companies “have grown and now want to do and continue … the way the system works and our partnership with companies.”

Maritime status

In March 2020, maritime activity was very low, often with alarming news reports of Covid jumping on board. Shipwrecked ships sailed from port to port, looking for a way to disembark. The Queen of Diamond accidentally stayed in Japan for several weeks when passengers and crew became ill before being deported.

As concerns mounted, the CDC issued a law banning imported ships – which are the majority of ships in the world – from entering the US are considered to be delayed in taking action on the launch of Covid.

But even though most ships are not registered in the US, its citizens form the world’s largest travel market, and the CDC’s “no-sail” system, which bans ships from March 2020 to June 2021 – shut down the business.

The CDC ban has forced companies to do better. And in June, maritime companies agreed to the CDC’s permit to travel again, including ensuring that most of the crew and passengers received the vaccine.

But the ominous nature of Omicron when the vaccine began to give people a free taste brings new challenges.

From Thursday, 91 ships were reported sufficient Covid charges to carry out CDC investigations, which could lead to the need for further reports and in extreme cases could order the ship to return to port. Of the 109 ships that the CDC is following, only 12 report Covid cases. Participation in the reporting process will be free but all major sea routes have promised to continue.

But unlike the spring of 2020, phones to turn off cruises have been shut down. Some lines had already banned travelers in 2022. Vessels displaying a large number of Covid cases are not allowed in most ports. And participants in the companies order vaccinations for all riders, including riders – a standard that few industries can boast.

“With the opportunity to get vaccinated, we have, fortunately, another place and the way we were in 2020,” said Peter DeFazio’s Housing Committee (D-Ore.), Who was a vocal critic of traffic laws. at the beginning of the plague. “However, the CDC …

While the CDC is lifting its Covid ban on shipping companies, major industrial players say they are planning to adhere to their vaccination plans.

The Cruise Lines International Association, which oversees the company’s operations, claims that its customers are the only tourist and tourist destination that needs a vaccine for almost all riders and co-workers, testing everyone on board.

“Furthermore, navigation is the only body that monitors, collects, and transmits information to the CDC continuously,” said Bari Golin-Blaugrund, vice president of CLIA communications. “Given this oversight and the amount of immunization required in the boat, the risk of infection is much lower than on the ground, and hospitalization has become less common even at a time when the number of outpatient hospitals is increasing.”

Not everyone agrees, of course. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) And Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) Opposes the reversal of the naval system. Blumenthal called for a moratorium on all tours on December 28.

“Rapid transformation into a voluntary program could allow companies to pursue important health practices,” Blumenthal and Matsui wrote to Walensky on Thursday, urging the CDC to increase water restrictions.

Federal Policy and courts are struggling

Maritime companies won another battle in August, when a federal judge overturned a Florida law prohibiting seafarers from having a vaccine, allowing the companies to impose their own vaccines. In contrast, Florida won a court ruling in July challenging the validity of its shipping system, although major maritime companies said they had complied with the rules.

“I do not believe that the government should tell businesses that you need to be vaccinated or that you will not ask if you have been vaccinated,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) Who said both elections, a split Republican Gov. election. Ron DeSantis, was a boon to companies and sailors.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) stated at a committee meeting this week that the abolition of maritime law is crucial for people in her region who depend on marine living resources to survive. He pressured Walensky to state publicly that the previous rules would not be reversed soon.

Walensky replied that he did not expect to restore the ship’s system, but that prediction would be impossible.

“We hope that the system will not be reformed and that sailors will continue to understand that this is a safe way for those industries,” Walensky said. Which I can’t predict what summer will bring.

Doing things right

The current state of maritime travel during the Omicron years has brought challenges to health officials such as Encarnacion, the Commissioner for Health in the US Virgin Islands.

On December 28, Encarnacion refused to board two USVI cruise ships because their tariffs were higher than 1 percent, a limit that the state government allows.

Encarnacion said the CDC’s demand for the submarines to report high quality vessels, which are still in existence, allows them to make better decisions that affect public health and the benefits that companies directly use for thousands of USVI people. and it contributes millions of dollars to the economy.

“You need to balance money with health,” Encarnacion said. “We’ve learned to plan this carefully.”

Encarnacion said that although the negotiations between his organization and the sailors are sometimes difficult and “tough,” he understands that ships coming to USVI contain passengers and crews with about 100 percent vaccination, which has a significant impact on public health.

“Navigators know the cause of an accident,” Encarnacion said. “This is not just a threat to our community, but a serious threat to them.”

Shalala said since cruises could be successful, he had business incentives to reduce crime as much as possible. And so far the epidemic is not the time for the government to close things down and create uncertainty for maritime workers.

“It doesn’t work for them if we close the spigot and turn it on,” Shalala said.


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