“To save seafarers’ jobs, allocate MPT vaccines, launch the jabs” | Goa News
Panaji: While other states have given sailors Priority for vaccinations, the Goan government continues to show a lack of foresight and proactivity, the Goan Seamen Association of India (GSAI) said on Friday. The GSAI said the government’s inability to allocate vaccines to seafarers put their jobs in jeopardy.
With global shipping companies showing a preference for vaccinated crew members, any delay will result in job losses, the GSAI said.
On May 7, the Union Ministry of Transport, Ports and Waterways ordered the 11 major ports, including Mormugao Port Trust, to set up vaccination centers for seafarers.
“It seems our government has put the seafarers of Goa out of sight and out of mind,” said GSAI President Frank Viegas. “The government has put Goan seafarers and their jobs in crisis.”
Viegas said vaccines have not been allocated to MPT while the ports of Mumbai, Cochin and Chennai have already started vaccinating seafarers in their respective states. “Our government and authorities need to understand that seafarers and merchant ships are the second line of defense and also keep the national and global economy functioning. Without vaccination, our seafarers face problems of job loss and loss of income, as many companies around the world request vaccinated seafarers in the interest of crew safety, ”Viegas said.
The GSAI has called on the state to urgently release MPT vaccine doses and at least prioritize seafarers over 45 and those who have already taken a dose of the vaccine.