Shipping companies deplore the sidelining of the pandemic
The Vietnam Maritime Corporation has around 4,000 crew members, but only 10% of them have been vaccinated, chief executive Nguyen Canh Tinh said in an online meeting on Friday. Since ships have long operated at sea, those who contract Covid-19 cannot access onshore medical facilities, he noted.
A person who tests positive could put the remaining crew members, more than 20, usually at risk for infection.
Duong Ngoc Tu, deputy director of Vinaship Shipping Company, said Quang Ninh issued a rule that people from outside the province must have a valid PCR test certificate and be fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine. However, the percentage of members receiving two injections is very low.
Travel permits are another issue for shipping companies.
Hoang Hong Giang, deputy director of the Vietnamese maritime administration, said that in Ho Chi Minh City and some localities, only 10% of employees of shipping companies have obtained travel permits, making deliveries difficult.
Transport Minister Nguyen Van The called on local authorities to prioritize vaccination against Covid-19 for seafarers. He also said that 70 to 80 percent of shipping companies are expected to get travel permits.
Seaports handled 481 million tonnes of cargo in the first eight months of the year, up 4% from the same period in 2020.