Singapore has always been at the forefront of nations that have an economy based almost entirely on the maritime industry. Leading the way for other nations, the small South-Asian island has shown what it takes to be a true maritime nation by starting the vaccination of over 10,000 maritime personnel.
The project is slated to be finished by January end. Post-vaccination, maritime personnel would be subject to a more relaxed mandatory testing regime.
Singapore, being the largest bunkering center in the world, suffered a COVID outbreak onboard tanker NEWOCEAN 6 (IMO 9711676) in early January 2021.
The front-line personnel includes people from all spectrum of the supply and logistics chain, including port workers, harbour pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who work onboard ships carrying out essential work including safe navigation, refuelling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as cargo transfer.
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that harbor craft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents will also be given priority for vaccinations.
Singapore also became one of the first nations to prioritize COVID-19 vaccinations of frontline maritime personnel, a move aimed to protect the country’s vital shore-based maritime services staff. They regularly go on board vessels at the port and amid the coronavirus pandemic, come in contact with crew members onboard vessels from outside the country.
The island nation is also a part of the 45 countries that have recognized seafarers to be key workers.
Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “We rely on our frontline maritime personnel for the transportation of what we need every day, including food, medical supplies, and consumer goods. We hope that the vaccination can give them peace of mind when they perform their work onboard ships. This will provide an additional layer of protection, and keep their family and the community safe. We strongly encourage them to come forward for early vaccination.”
Posted in General by Ankur Kundu on Jan 20, 2021 at 10:35.