New Delhi [India], June 5 (ANI): Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways on Saturday informed that the Centre will prioritise COVID-19 vaccination to seafarers, taking view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country.
Union Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways (Independent Charge) and Chemicals and Fertilisers 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.
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.
As per a release by the ministry, due to its recent intervention, 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, the Ministry of PS&W 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.
In a tweet, Mandaviya said, "India is committed to providing vaccines to Seafarers! I am thankful to Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin Ji, Kerala CM Vijayan Pinarayi Ji and Goa CM Dr Pramod P Sawant Ji for including Seafarers in State 'Priority List' for vaccination."
"I also request other states to follow the same. Moreover, Our 6 Major Ports: Mumbai Port, Cochin Port, Chennai Port, Visakhapatnam Port, Kolkata Port & Tuticorin Port have already started Vaccination Center for Seafarers," he tweeted.
The Union Minister in a tweet also said that seafaring unions and associations like NUSI, MASSA, FOSMA etc have also started special camps to vaccinate seafarers. "It is our constant endeavour that the seafarers' Joining Schedule should not be prolonged due to non-vaccination", he said. (ANI)