Maritime bodies come forward to support govt in fight against coronavirus

New Delhi, March 29 () India's leading maritime unions NUSI and MUI on Sunday said they have jointly launched a 'Merchant Navy Support Fund' (MNSF) to help the government fight coronavirus, which is gradually spreading across the country.

"NUSI has pledged to donate a corpus of Rs 25 lakh to MNSF and aims to increase the total corpus of this newly launched fund to at least Rs 2 crore latest by June 2020 by inviting donations from various shipping companies, ship management companies, ports, seafarers and marine entrepreneurs of India," NUSI General Secretary Abdulgani Serang said in a statement.

He added that the total corpus accumulated under the MNSF initiative will be donated to Prime Minister's National Relief Fund.

"We will hand over the donation cheque to Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya in the last week of June 2020," he said.Advertisement

Maritime Union of India (MUI) General Secretary Amar Singh Thakur said that the organisation's board is scheduled to meet soon and will donate a substantial sum to MNSF towards its commitment to the nation in this hour of crisis.

Given the huge requirement for reasonably priced and easily available testing infrastructure to check local outbreaks, the maritime bodies are committed to take all possible steps, the statement added.

Serang said, "In such a scenario, India will need huge amount of economic resources to meet these unprecedented challenges. NUSI has already vacated its South Mumbai based building, 'Sailors Home', having a capacity of 600 beds to become a certified quarantine facility whenever required.

"We are already in touch with senior officials of Mumbai Port Trust Hospital," he added. NAM RVK

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