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Ship Agents Body MANSA seeks priority in COVID-19 vaccination to Seafarers and Waterfront workers

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MUMBAI: Maritime Association of Nationwide Shipping Agencies (MANSA) has drawn the attention of the Directorate General of Shipping along with other port and government authorities to give due priority besides seafarers to all staff and workers constantly deployed in operations in the COVID-19 vaccination drive.

Ship agents and their staff have been providing their services with great agility and sincerity, despite restricting travel as a result of new COVID-19 mutations and being dangerously exposed during the pandemic, said the letter signed by MANSA President, Mr. Hiren Ved.

In a letter addressed to India’s shipping regulator – Directorate General of Shipping, MANSA said, “All waterfront workers should also be granted due priority for vaccination drive undertaken by the authorities.”

MANSA also drew the attention of the authorities to the call given by the International Chamber of Shipping to all governments in putting seafarers and frontline maritime shore workers ahead of the vaccine queue to avoid a repeat of the 2020 `crew change crisis’.

During the pandemic, the ‘crew change crisis’ had become a global humanitarian crisis as several seafarers had to work for long hours without any break during their working time on board.

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