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Martek launches CoronaSafe antibody screening test


Virus apr 16

The EU & IMO recently issued new guidelines requiring ship operators to implement pre-boarding screening of seafarers. To help ship operators comply with these new guidelines and help protect their vessels from an outbreak of COVID-19, Martek Marine, part of James Fisher and Sons, has launched the CoronaSafe finger prick antibody screening test.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"} Using a single drop of blood, CoronaSafe will detect IgM antibodies within 5-7 days of infection. This is particularly useful to detect infections amongst subjects who show no symptoms and would otherwise embark undetected.

A study into the COVID-19 outbreak on the cruise ship Diamond Princess estimated that between 20.6 per cent - 39.9 per cent of cases were asymptomatic, whilst a recent study published in the British Medical Journal concluded that up to four fifths of cases are asymptomatic.

The CoronaSafe test is approved and certified by the European Union as meeting the safety, quality & performance requirements of Standard IVDD 98/79/EC - the highest standard applicable for these devices. It’s also in wide scale use by authorities/corporations in Japan, China, Germany, Poland, Indonesia and is formally certified by CFDA, Philippines FDA & Singapore Health Sciences Authority.

Martek’s CEO Paul Luen commented: “Screening crew before boarding is a critical step to prevent avoidable transmission from an asymptomatic crew member. It’s also an important diagnostic tool for re-screening after leaving or if someone shows symptoms. The effect of an outbreak on a ship could be catastrophic in both business and human terms.”

Martek, which has limited supply of the tests, are urging shipowners to act quickly to define their policy for crew screening, in order to maintain the health of their employees and ensure continuation of their shipping operations. {/mprestriction}

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