Coronavirus: Port authorities across the world pledge to stay open

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Twenty port authorities in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America signed a declaration committing to stay open amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Initiated by Singapore, the declaration calls for ports to boost collaboration so that operations are undisturbed, according to a statement on April 24. Members of the Port Authorities Roundtable that signed the declaration include Singapore, Abu Dhabi, Rotterdam, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Restrictions on crews are among the unprecedented challenges wrought by the virus, which has ground major economies to a halt. At risk is the flow of goods such as food, medicine and energy via commercial shipping, which accounts for about 80 percent of global trade.

The declaration ensures that merchant ships can continue to berth at ports and keep global supply chains operating; best practices are adopted, including safe procedures for ship crew and shore personnel; and port authorities continue to share experiences in combating the virus while safeguarding unimpeded trade.

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