As COVID-19 vaccinations take center stage across all countries the urge to put seafarers on the priority list has gained momentum. While countries like Singapore have already prioritized vaccinating seafarers, the maritime fraternity is appealing to countries like the Philippines to do the same.
Urge To Vaccinate Filipino Seafarers
The Philippines, the country with the largest number of seafarers in the world needs to ascertain this quickly so that maritime trade gets back to its former state.
Amidst this, a maritime industry stakeholder has requested the Philippine government to consider vaccinating seafarers on priority as the country starts to roll out vaccination plans.
The President of Doehle Ship Management Philippines, Tore Henriksen said “Filipino seafarers must be given key worker status and moved to the top of priority in vaccines in order to do their jobs.” Earlier the department of transportation recognized seafarers’ essentiality in world trade especially during the covid crisis.
“Seafarers need to be vaccinated… We are down to 9th-10th in priority [list] in the Philippines. We hope that the IATF [Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19] will see to it,” Henriksen added.
Henriksen is a recognized face in the maritime community as he is the chairman of the German, Dutch, and Nordic Chambers of Commerce along with being the Maritime Committee chairman.
Vaccinating Seafarers Crucial for Trade Recovery
2021 is slated to be a crucial year for the global container shipping industry as the demand for goods from Asia is growing in bigger economies like the USA and Europe which is a positive sign for the shipping industry.
Even bulk shipping of commodities like coal, ore, steel, etc is also on the rise. Meanwhile, China-Australia’s trade relation strain will give a boost to shipping from other countries.
“China will get coal elsewhere, that would mean longer transports. Likewise, Australia will find other countries for their coal exports,” Henriksen said.