South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries has won approval in principle for a ship design that is fitted with technology for the prevention of the spread of infectious diseases during ship operations.
The design is of particular importance having in mind how COVID-19 has impacted the life of seafarers at sea.
Specifically, due to the pandemic seafarers have been advised to socially distance themselves while on board, and stay in their quarters when completing their work to avoid the potential spread of the virus.
This has impacted their social life and mental health as they are advised against socializing, especially having in mind the extended times at sea they have had to endure due to the crew change crisis.
SHI said that it won an AIP from the US-based classification society ABS for the infectious disease mitigation arrangement (IDM-A) notation.
Specifically, the ship design features an isolation place that can maintain negative pressure, separate medical support and laundry facilities, and a ventilation system that prevents infectious diseases from spreading.
In addition, the design is characterized by improved space utilization, having all anti-epidemic facilities in the cabin of the same area as an existing vessel.
“For shipbuilders, the occurrence of infectious diseases at sea is a very important issue that is directly related to the flight schedule as well as the safety of the crew. We expect to be a solution,” Yoon Jong-hyun, in charge of ship design at Samsung Heavy Industries, said.
“This certification is the first technology certification that satisfies the latest regulations to protect the crew from infectious diseases such as COVID- 19,” Gareth Burton, President of ABS Technology Division, said.