PANAJI: Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (I/C) and Chemicals & Fertilizers, Mansukh Mandaviya has reviewed the status of vaccination to the seafarers. He suggested that the seafaring industry should not get hampered due to non-vaccination and emphasised that all efforts should be made to get the seafarers vaccinated before joining their scheduled duties on board, says a press release by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.
India plays a very significant role in the global seafarer industry. There have been demands from many quarters to accord ‘priority’ to seafarers in the vaccination drive in view of the nature of their work. The Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (PS&W) also coordinated actively with the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to give priority to seafarers in COVID vaccination.
Due to the recent intervention by the Ministry, Major Ports have started Vaccination Centres. Six Major Ports which includes Mumbai Port Trust, Cochin Port Trust, Chennai Port Trust, Visakhapatnam Port Trust, Kolkata Port Trust and Tuticorin Port Trust have started vaccinating seafarers at their port hospital. Moreover, a private hospital in Kerala has also been roped in for vaccinating seafarers.
Seafaring Unions/Associations like MASSA, FOSMA and NUSI have also successfully organised special camps for vaccination.
Apart from these measures, Ministry of PS&W has been making efforts to take State Governments on board for including seafarers in their State ‘priority’ list, and Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Goa has already provided such status.