Seafarers have started receiving COVID-19 vaccines after tested PCR-negative
As part of Singapore Government’s drive to protect frontline workers, COVID-19 vaccination administering commenced last Wednesday to shore-based personnel, which includes those who carry out essential work onboard vessels in ports, such as cargo and bunkering operations, repairs and maintenance, as well as surveys and inspections.
Prior to the vaccine exercise, tests for COVID-19 were conducted across 27,000 Singaporean seafarers between 2nd and 8th January 2021. This initiative is extended to personnel who are required to board a vessel in port, such as marine pilots and seafarers who are Singaporeans or long-term residents. The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said, “All have tested PCR-negative except for one person who was tested PCR-positive and serology-positive, and has been assessed to have recovered from Covid-19 infection.”
The COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test is internationally regarded as the most accurate and reliable test to detect active COVID-19 infections. A PCR test is generally administered by a trained professional who will take a swab sample from the nose and/or throat of a traveller.
All shore-based personnel will be required to check in and out using SafeEntry@Sea when embarking and disembarking at all waterfront facilities from 15 January 2021. They must provide details of their company and vessels to be boarded and comply with safe management measures onboard. Workers must also produce proof of a valid negative result from a Covid-19 PCR test from a rostered routing testing programme, an ad hoc Covid-19 test or antigen rapid test taken within 72 hours before boarding the vessel.
MPA added that the waterfront facility’s owner, occupier or manager must conduct stringent checks and disallow any personnel from going on board if proof of a negative test result is not produced or if the personnel fail to use SafeEntry@Sea.