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Over 5,000 Myanmar seafarers stranded on ships due to Covid-19

Jul 12. 2020
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By Eleven Media

More than 5,000 Myanmar seafarers are stranded on ships running in international sea territory, said San Oo, Chair of Myanmar Seafarers' Employment Services Federation (MSESF).

They are stuck on ships as international airlines are suspended and cannot make crew change. Ships are banned in some countries and entries are banned, he said.

Seafarers, who want to change shifts with the seamen with expired employment contracts, are unable to board the ships.

“We felt distress as we cannot go back to our homes though our contracts are expired. Our families are worried about us and it makes us feel depressed,” said Captain Win Naing Nyunt.

Although some seamen can go home, they are costing a lot in the time of COVID-19 outbreak as they have to stay in quarantine centers, he said.

Seafarers from big shipping companies can go home and seafarers from small shipping companies are stuck at sea.

About 1,000 seafarers are taken back using relief flights under the arrangement of shipping companies and Myanmar embassy.

About 200 Myanmar seafarers returned home via Kawthoung port.

About 200,000 seafarers are stranded on ships across the world as international airlines are suspended.

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