Over 10,000 frontline Maritime personnel to receive COVID-19 vaccinations by January end

0
230
(Image Courtesy: MPA Singapore)

Singapore became one of the first countries to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime personnel. These workers go onboard vessels at our port and come in contact with people from outside of Singapore. This vaccination exercise is part of the national COVID-19 vaccination strategy to protect frontline personnel and their family members, as well as residents living in Singapore.

Under the Sea – Air Vaccination Exercise (SAVE), over 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by end January. These frontline personnel include port workers, harbour pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to work onboard ships in our port. They carry out essential works including navigation, refuelling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as operations to transfer cargos.

Harbourcraft and ocean-going crew who are Singaporeans and long-term residents living in the community are also prioritised for vaccination. Together, these personnel play a major role in keeping the Port of Singapore open and ensuring the undisrupted flow of goods.

More than 700 personnel have been vaccinated over the past few days to prepare for the full roll-out of SAVE. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has received about 6,000 registrations for vaccination this week.

Due to the better protection offered by vaccination, frontline maritime personnel who have completed their full course of vaccination will be subjected to fewer testing requirements. Going forward, those who are currently on the 7-day Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) will be tested every 14 days; those who are currently on the 14-day RRT will be tested once a month.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “We rely on our frontline maritime personnel for the transportation of what we need everyday, including food, medical supplies, and consumer goods. We hope that the vaccination can give them peace of mind when they perform their work onboard ships. This will provide an additional layer of protection, and keep their family and the community safe. We strongly encourage them to come forward for early vaccination.”

The first maritime worker to be vaccinated was PSA Marine harbour pilot, Loh Kah Wai, 55. He said, “The vaccination keeps me safe and enables me to do my job with less worry. It’s one more layer of protection, not just for me but for my fellow harbour pilots and my family.”

Frontline maritime personnel can receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at the vaccination centre at Raffles City Convention Centre. Prior appointments are required. MPA, Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG) are reaching out to the companies involved to schedule appointments.

Eligible companies can submit vaccination bookings via https://covidvaccination.mpa.gov.sg, which requires a booking code.

Companies which have not received a booking code can write to vaccinate@mpa.gov.sg.

All frontline maritime personnel are encouraged to adhere to their scheduled appointments to minimise individual wait time and to better utilise precious healthcare resources, MPA stated.

Sea News, January 19

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News