“Key measures to continue activities are taken”
- Sir, how does PAK implement Government measures aimed at combatting COVID 19?
Government measures taken by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, upon instructions of the Head of State, commit the Port Authority of Kribi to specifically restrict human flow through the port. Currently, in around 193 countries, any vessel coming various ports is managed with special care in application of measures given by the Government and those prescribed by the WHO and IMO convention.
Thus, while sensitizing his staff, PAK General Manager equally calls on every member of the Kribi port community, either public or private, to strictly comply with the measures taken to combat the COVID 19 pandemic. These are presented and explained through postings and all existing communication means. Important means have been mobilized to face a threat which has become global by the days. A system aiming especially human flows brought in by merchant vessels has been put in place. It is made up of thermo-flash used to screen the temperature of crews by health agents wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) when boarding, before berthing in the port.
Vessel crews do not need to go onshore. Onboard - onshore exchanges are strictly regulated by PAK’s Harbour Master’s Office under the direct supervision of the General Manager. These exchanges are digitised and expose the staff to less human contact as everything can be handled through paperless procedures.
2. What is the importance of current traffic and why can’t we simply stop it?
No country can live in total reclusion. This means that Cameroon and neighbouring landlocked countries import consumer goods that are manufactured in insufficient quantities in their countries for the needs of their respective populations. All active ports are still a compulsory element of the supply chain of key products. At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, import and export contracts for these goods were already being signed and this process cannot be stopped without creating major prejudices on the way international logistic chains operate. These can bring in mass consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, energy commodities necessary for the survival of some vulnerable populations. Technical administrations located at the Port Authority of Kribi, as per their respective area of competence, ensures together with the Customs administration and the Port Authority the compliance with Government prescriptions.
3. Can we already assess the impact of emergency health measures on incoming and outgoing traffic on PAK finance/performance?
It is obvious that the current pandemic is reducing business opportunities and even some international trade avenues. However, it is too early to carry out an assessment. It goes without saying that international trade involves at least two actors. Yet, our major partners have been first hit, especially China, France, Spain and Italy.
We should probably expect disturbances on traffic volumes. However, PAK Top Management is taking measures to ensure key operations continue while maintaining an appropriate system to PAK staff and the staff of partner companies operating in the vicinity of the Port. A Contingency Plan consistent with the evolution of the pandemic and its impact is being developed. In addition, the Top Management carries out its corporate social responsibility beyond that area by including riparian and providing support to Kribi, home to PAK Head Office.