Qatar pays particular care to seafarers and all maritime industry personnel due to the importance of the vital role they play under the current challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) has stressed.
The statement came on the occasion of World Maritime Day, which is observed every year on the last Thursday of September.
"Qatar pays particular care to seafarers and all maritime industry personnel out of the country's noble human principles and authentic values and out of the belief in the vital role they play under the current circumstances of the pandemic," the ministry said in the statement on social media.
The MoTC highlighted the key efforts in this regard, which are:
* Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, has transported more than 380,000 seafarers and maritime industry personnel during the pandemic.
* A special waiting area has been dedicated at Hamad International Airport for travelling seafarers and maritime industry personnel.
* The process of vaccinating them against Covid-19 has been expedited under the National Covid-19 Vaccination Programme.
* The well-equipped Hamad Port Medical Centre conducts medical examinations for seafarers and ship crews whenever necessary.
* NAVAIDs (navigational aids) are maintained regularly to ensure they meet the technical specifications of the IALA (International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities), thus ensuring safe navigation for all vessels and the protection of lives and properties.
* Regular patrols are organised to educate maritime vessel helmsmen of safety and security instructions and to stop the spread of the virus.
* Hamad Port's Control Tower secures safe, smooth navigation traffic for all seafarers of visiting vessels, supported by a fleet of 19 maritime units, including tugboats, pilot boats and mooring boats.
In a related social media post, QTerminals - a terminal operating company jointly established by Mwani Qatar and Milaha - said all its staff "pay tribute to seafarers worldwide during these incredibly challenging times".
"This year's theme presents the opportunity to focus on all seafarers and their professionalism and sacrifice during these incredibly challenging times," it added.
Meanwhile, Mwani Qatar tweeted, "On this World Maritime Day, we salute and pay tribute to all the seafarers for their contributions and their great role in world economy and global trade."
"Seafarers are at the heart of shipping's long-term success, and we are in desperate need of them now more than ever. On this day, and every day thereafter, we honour their bravery, commitment and perseverance," Milaha added.