South Korean offshore and marine contractor Samsung Heavy Industries has come up with a novel ship design that it claims can effectively prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including Covid-19, at sea.

Sign up for our new energy transition newsletter

Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here

Samsung’s design has received approval in principle from US classification society ABS, the first such technical certification of vessel anti-epidemic technology.

The contractor’s new design includes separate medical support and laundry facilities along with an isolation area that can maintain negative pressure and a ventilation system to prevent the spread of viruses.

The shipbuilder said that optimal layout design would increase space utilisation by having all anti-epidemic facilities in the cabin of the same area as an existing vessel.

"For shippers, the outbreak of contagious disease at sea is a very important issue that is directly related to the crew's safety as well as flight schedules," Yoon Jong-hyun, in charge of Samsung Heavy Industries’ ship design, was quoted as saying by Aju Business Daily.

"We hope our anti-epidemic design technology will be the best solution."