US passenger vessel operators experiencing low ridership and large economic losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are calling President Donald Trump to include the sector in the administration’s plans to provide economic assistance.

The Passenger Vessel Association (PVA), a trade group representing the domestic passenger vessel industry, sent a letter to Donald Trump, explaining that US-flagged passenger vessels are suffering economic hardship and experiencing steep declines in reservations. It also added that “weeks of reduced or no revenue will jeopardize their ability to meet debt obligations and to pay employees.”

Mr. President, the small passenger vessel industry is an important player in our nation’s travel, tourism and transportation markets. We need your help immediately, and we urge you include our operators in your plans to provide economic assistance to U.S. businesses

This call comes as economic damage is being inflicted on PVA vessel members in every region of the nation. Alaska, Hawaii, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico are particularly hard hit due to the declining commercial air travel.

On the other hand, China seems to be slowly recovering from the effects of COVID-19. Namely, Chinese ports managed to slightly recover, as severe traffic congestion is easing, Reuters reported.

In light of the situation, about a month ago refrigerated containers were being diverted and relocated due to the shortage of reefer plugs at several Chinese ports.

Specifically, due to the port congestion, refrigerated containers carrying meat, seafood, fruit and other fresh and frozen products from around the global to China, had been stuck for weeks at the country’s ports.

Although, port congestion in China has improved, while offloading operations are returning to their normal working conditions.

Europe becomes the epicentre of the pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General stated that Europe is now the epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives, commenting “Do not just let this fire burn.”

The comments arose after many European countries reported a rapid increase in infections and deaths, with Italy still recording its highest daily toll yet. There were 250 deaths recorded over the past 24 hours, taking the total to 1,266, with 17,660 infections overall.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created a live, interactive map, which depicts in real time, the spread of the virus.

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