China fills the seafarers’ gap after Delta variant enters into India, Bangladesh and Indonesia
The industry watched India lose its position as a major seafarer supplier. Demand subsequently flowed to Bangladesh and Indonesia, albeit short-lived at the variant’s arrival. China now tops the seafarers’ supplier list.
Vaccination is the buzzword
Nations were scrambling to contain their outbreaks with lockdowns, border restrictions and endless lobbying for vaccines. Talks about wealthy countries’ hoarding and depriving lower-income nations of it was a hot-button issue. More disturbing news flooded the marketplace with reports of makers against the vaccine patent’s waiver for business reasons. Health was the least of their concerns, or so the world assumed.
Demand for Bangladeshi and Indonesian seafarers skyrocketed after India got sidelined by the pandemic. Bangladesh is now on a 7-day lockdown from the pandemic. Indonesia is battling the new outbreak and due to receive 4 million doses donated by the United States. As at 30 June 2021, Indonesia has received 118.7 million doses of the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccines. This is starkly insufficient to inoculate 181.5 million people, or 70 per cent of its population.
Additionally, United States National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi discussed the former’s plans to hike assistance for Indonesia’s broader COVID-19 response efforts. Indonesia is also working on developing its vaccine. However, it is not expected to commence production till 2022 despite passing clinical trials.
Amidst all the pandemonium, China remains steadfast in its fight to sustain world trade – beginning with creating a demand for vaccinated seafarers. Their own single-dose Convidecia vaccine sent numerous manning agencies knocking on their doors for inoculated seafarers. In all regards, China is skilfully filling the gaps the others could not. The republic certainly has no labour deficiencies to be concerned about. This is backed by the China Maritime Safety Administration’s findings, which reflect a total of 122,034 seafarers onboard international vessels as of the end of 2020, including 17,175 newly registered professionals.
Crewing Online News Team
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