The VOX spokesman in the General Meeting of the Principality, Ignacio Blanco, has claimed the Principality today, after holding a meeting with shipowners and deep-sea fishing skippers in Avilés that, "immediately", through the SESPA (Health Service of the Principality of Asturias) establish an agreement with the Social Institute of the Navy (ISM) so that PCR tests are carried out on seamen with an operational base in Asturias before boarding, since due to their activity they remain fishing away from the coast for weeks . In this sense, the VOX Parliamentary Group has presented a Proposal No of Law (NLP) to urge the regional government to carry out all the necessary negotiations for the signing of an agreement between the Public Health Service of the Principality of Asturias and the Institute Social of the Navy for conducting PCR tests.
"Deep-sea fishing keeps workers on vessels fully isolated and in close contact for weeks, with all the consequences that the unexpected appearance of Covid-19 could have in these working conditions," says the spokesperson.
"From VOX Asturias we echo the demand of the sector that has been demanding for months from different organizations an improvement in sanitary conditions". Specifically, explains the spokesman, "it is about putting mechanisms in place to protect against COVID-19 infections and prevent events such as that of the fisherman living in Avilés, unfortunately deceased by coronavirus," says the spokesperson.
In Blanco's opinion, collaboration is necessary between the Social Institute of the Navy, -among whose competences are both the health care of seafarers and the practice of medical examinations prior to boarding-, and the Public Health Service of the Principality of Asturias (Sespa), to carry out the necessary PCR tests on shipowners' workers who request it, for the boarding of the crew that will fish on the high seas. With this, the spokesperson explains, "peace of mind and the certainty that they are free of Covid would be achieved, continuing with their usual tasks, and without the fear of contagion on board."
Ignacio Blanco, accompanied during his meeting with the sailors by the councilors of VOX Avilés, Arancha Martínez and José Gerardo González, pointed out that “once on the high seas they are a coexistence group that is not at risk of COVID-19, but if a only a sailor gets infected, even asymptomatic, it will infect the whole boat ”. In fact, the spokesperson explained that “during the crossing, up to 15 workers come to share very narrow and small cabins, which makes it even more problematic in the event that a colleague is affected by coronavirus, isolate him as required by the protocols health ”.
Therefore, the spokesperson concludes, “we cannot remain oblivious to the terrible consequences that an outbreak of coronavirus can cause to the crew of a vessel that is for weeks at sea and away from the coast, since both the time of the return ashore, as well as the conditions for their isolation, could seriously affect both the chances of overcoming the disease, as well as the rapid spread of the virus among the rest of the workers, in view of how compressed and tight living on a ship is ”.

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