Seafarers should be given priority to benefit when vaccines for Covid–19 are available says the Union of Greek Shipowners (UGS).
During this extraordinary global health crisis, the UGS said seafarers remain faithful to their duty to supply the citizens of the world with essential goods, energy, food, medicines and medical equipment.
“They do so with professionalism, facing tremendous difficulties and personal sacrifices. It is therefore, absolutely necessary that their indispensable role and pressing needs are recognized, even with delay, and catered for by the international community,” said the Greek owners body.
UGS president, Theodore Veniamis said, “We are deeply indebted to all the key workers, the heroes of this uneven battle, the doctors, the nurses, the scientists and others, but also to our seafarers who work tirelessly day and night during the pandemic. We are all witnessing with great admiration the significant efforts and progress that have been made to end this nightmare, and we are looking more hopefully into the future after the news that vaccines for COVID-19 are now near.
“Taking the opportunity of this good news, I would like to once more voice the concern of the shipping industry about its people, the seafarers, and the dire need for governments around the world to view them as essential workers.
“Ιt is, thus, of utmost importance that competent authorities give priority to seafarers in COVID-19 vaccination, together with other key workers, such as medical personnel. This will ensure a COVID-19 – free environment for seafarers, who work under especially restrictive conditions, as well as the facilitation of crew changes and repatriations, which at the moment are seriously disrupted, and the protection of the uninterrupted international trade.”
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