'Vaccine supply for Indian seafarers on priority basis'

MUI says govt assures supply of Covid-19 vaccines for Indian seafarers on priority basis

Representative image/Credit: iStock images

India's leading maritime union MUI on Friday said it has been assured of supply of Covid-19 vaccines for Indian seafarers on a priority basis by Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya.  

"Recently, I met our shipping minister in New Delhi and requested to prioritise the supply of COVID vaccines to Indian seafarers. I am extremely grateful to him for accepting our legitimate demand since he also heads The Department of Pharmaceutical, a division of the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilisers," the Maritime Union of India (MUI) General Secretary Amar Singh Thakur said in a statement.

About 90 per cent of world trade takes place through sea routes currently. Since the outbreak of the pandemic in India and subsequent lockdowns thereafter, "Indian seafarers have relentlessly worked aboard cargo ships worldwide to serve our nation for maintaining the regular supply of merchandise, including essential items like food, fuel and medicines", he said.

"While we continue to salute the contribution of Indian police personnel and healthcare workers, the immense contribution of Corona warriors like Indian seafarers too deserves huge accolades," he said.

Thakur said that protection of Indian seafarers' health will be the prime focus of the MUI going forward. "To enable Indian seafarers work tirelessly aboard cargo ships and continue their service to our nation in the post pandemic phase, it is absolutely necessary to get them administered COVID-19 vaccine doses at the earliest possible. This is why, vaccines should be made available to them on priority basis at the earliest," he added.

With the help of the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways of India, the MUI intends to procure vaccines for its members on priority basis from the manufacturers based in India.

Recently, the MUI and its Trusts donated Rs 25 lakh to PM Cares Fund dedicated to strengthen India's fight against the coronavirus pandemic.