Singapore prioritises frontline maritime workers in COVID-19 vaccination drive

Singapore prioritises maritime workers in COVID-19 vaccination drive

Singapore has become one of the first countries to prioritise COVID-19 vaccinations for frontline maritime personnel, according to the Maritime Port Authority (MPA).

More than 10,000 frontline maritime personnel are expected to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of January. This includes port workers, harbour pilots, cargo officers, marine surveyors and marine superintendents who are required to onboard ships in the Port of Singapore.

The MPA said these workers carry out essential works, including navigation, refuelling, ship repair and maintenance, as well as operations to transfer cargo, and play a major role in keeping the Port of Singapore open and ensuring the undisturbed flow of goods.

 Due to the better protection offered by vaccination, frontline maritime personnel who have completed their full course of vaccination will be subjected to fewer testing requirements.

Going forward, those who are currently on the 7-day Rostered Routine Testing (RRT) will be tested every 14 days; those who are currently on the 14-day RRT will be tested once a month.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, MPA, said, “We rely on our frontline maritime personnel for the transportation of what we need everyday, including food, medical supplies, and consumer goods.

“We hope that the vaccination can give them peace of mind when they perform their work onboard ships. This will provide an additional layer of protection, and keep their family and the community safe. We strongly encourage them to come forward for early vaccination.”

The first maritime worker to be vaccinated was PSA Marine harbour pilot, Mr Loh Kah Wai, 55. He said, “The vaccination keeps me safe and enables me to do my job with less worry. It’s one more layer of protection, not just for me but for my fellow harbour pilots and my family.”

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