The Ministry of Health (MINSA) in conjunction with the Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) began the vaccination against COVID-19 to seafarers of any nationality, who are on board ships belonging to the Panama Ship Registry as well as those registered with other flags, which arrive at our ports.
For this vaccination process, 300,000 doses are available from the pharmaceutical company Astrazeneca, which will be applied in the ports located in the Pacific and in the Atlantic. In addition, they are in contact with shipping agencies to receive information on the ships that will dock and thus determine the number of seafarers interested in receiving their dose.
The Secretary General of the Panama Maritime Authority, Elvia Bustavino pointed out that “Panama continues to support essential workers, our seafarers, who provide their services in the midst of this global pandemic so that supply chains remain active, recognizing their valuable contribution and that is why we reaffirm our commitment which began in 2020 now, with this great project ”.
The National Government through the AMP, from the first moment of this pandemic has been supporting seafarers, among the many actions carried out, the following stand out:
- Providing aid to the crew and passengers of the «Zaandam» and «Rotterdam».
- Following the guidelines of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) when applying the recommendations established in Circular Letter N ° 4204 / Add.14, in addition to declaring key workers "Key Workers" to all seafarers who work on ships of its flag, from May 12, 2020.
- Achieving over 18 thousand movements related to crew change (repatriation and disembarkation) of various nationalities, including Panamanians, from different types of vessels, which arrived in our jurisdictional waters and ports, both by sea and by air, to alleviate the crisis of crew changes.
- Creating the "Diagram of the modalities for repatriation, disembarkation and boarding of crew members", which through seven (7) different modalities guarantee safe crew changes.
- Managing repatriations, complaints and the payment of wages owed to seafarers from their registry.
- Issuing from the end of December 2020, to date, 255 thousand electronic certificates to seafarers, so that their certificates or licenses do not expire and that they can continue working.