Indian to prioritise COVID-19 vaccination for seafarers

ITF urges global seafarer vaccination to prevent crew crisis


India’s federal junior minister of ports, shipping and waterways Mansukh Mandaviya has said that all efforts should be made to get the country’s seafarers vaccinated before joining their scheduled duties on board.

The functioning of seafaring industry should not get hampered due to non-vaccination of COVID-19, said the minister, who made the comments while reviewing the status of COVID-19 vaccination to the seafarers.

“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 also coordinated actively with the ministry of health and family welfare to give priority to seafarers in COVID-19 vaccination,” an official statement said.

The federal ministry of ports, shipping and waterways said major ports have started vaccination centres and six major ports – 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.

Besides, several seafaring associations have organised special camps for vaccination and a private hospital in Kerala has also been roped in for vaccinating seafarers.

“The Ministry of ports, shipping and waterways has been making efforts to take state governments on board for including seafarers in their state priority list, and Kerala, Tamilnadu and Goa have already provided such status,” the statement said.