At least another 12,000 doses will be given to crew signing on or calling at Singapore
The nation continues to serve as a reliable node in global supply chains by protecting crew, who are vital in sustaining world trade.
Committed to support crew
To date, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has inoculated more than 8,000 crew, of which 90 per cent received full doses. This 8,000 comprised 5,200 resident foreign crew working onboard local vessels, and the balance working onboard other types of vessels. Through the Sea Crew Vaccination (SEAVAX) programme, at least another 12,000 doses will be offered to seafarers from 15 November 2021 – 30 June 2022.
This operation will be carried out by the Shipping Tripartite Alliance Resilience (STAR) Taskforce, an international tripartite alliance led by the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA). Additionally, Singapore will also continue to facilitate crew change together with the shipping community so that crew need not work beyond their contract durations.
Chee Hong Tat, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport expressed support, “As a hub port and international maritime centre, Singapore is glad to do its part in vaccinating seafarers and facilitating crew changes. These are keys to protect the health and well-being of crew onboard vessels and safeguard global supply chains. I thank our industry and union partners for working closely with MPA on this important initiative. Singapore is ready to provide more vaccines if there is further demand from the shipping lines and seafarers.”
Kitack Lim, Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) concurred, “I appreciate Singapore’s continued efforts to support crew change during the pandemic, and vaccinate seafarers including foreigners calling at Singapore. I am heartened at the provision of at least 12,000 doses to inoculate crew. Initiatives like this strengthen my belief that we will be able to overcome the crew change crisis and safeguard the health and well-being of our seafarers as we strive to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Caroline Yang, SSA President added, “The SSA-led STAR Taskforce audited more than 30 facilities in the Philippines, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, enabling crew change to facilitate global trade during the pandemic. We are heartened that our efforts in championing the well-being of our seafarers achieved progress with wider groups of eligible sea crew arriving in Singapore.”
Since March 2020, Singapore has facilitated close to 190,000 crew changes, and is expected to reach the 200,000 mark by year end. As part of facilitating crew change in a safe manner, the STAR Taskforce also developed a CrewSafe audit programme with more than 30 accredited facilities in crew source nations with quality control checks to crew change processes across quarantine, medical, and testing facilities.
Crewing Online News Team
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