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Handling goods from Covid-19 epicenter: provinces have differing practices

Each province is setting its own rules on dealing with vehicles and goods from the Covid-19 epicenter in Hai Duong, which is under economic duress.

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A vehicle is refused entry to Hai Phong on February 20

 

Tran Dac Phu, former director of the Department of Preventive Medicine, senior advisor to the Public Health Emergency Response Center, has made proposals related to the area so as to ensure uninterrupted implementation of the dual task – fighting the pandemic and ensuring smooth business activities.

Phu said provincial authorities have arbitrarily set up policies on dealing with goods, vehicles and people from localities where Covid-19 patients have been found. The rules have been set not based on general guidelines, but ‘every province for itself’.

In principle, localities need to apply drastic measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but the measures must not affect goods circulation, which affects economic development.

Farm produce and industrial goods, for example, are getting stuck because of different measures to fight the pandemic applied by different localities.

Luu Van Ban, deputy chair of Hai Duong, said that provincial authorities have sent many documents to other provinces, asking them to reconsider the strict regulations to pave the way for goods-carrying vehicles from Hai Duong to go through their localities.

The provincial authorities have also made an appeal to the central government for solutions to help Hai Duong sell its products.

“It is necessary to keep calm and flexible when fighting the epidemic so as to not drive businesses to bankruptcy, and not cause losses for farmers,” Ban said.

Hai Duong’s people are facing problems caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. The crops due for harvesting and products due for export still cannot be circulated because of Covid-19 prevention measures applied by other localities, especially Hai Phong.

 

Hai Duong’s people are facing problems caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. The crops due for harvesting and products due for export still cannot be circulated because of Covid-19 prevention measures applied by other localities

 

Hai Phong’s Vice Mayor Nguyen Duc Tho on February 20 told VietNamNet that on February 16 the city decided to stop receiving citizens, workers and goods carrying vehicles from Hai Duong.

On February 18, the city loosened the regulation, allowing goods-carrying vehicles from Hai Duong to enter Hai Phong, provided that they can meet epidemic prevention requirements.

Vehicle drivers must show contracts and order forms from production facilities and delivery units to the recipients, and meet safety requirements. Vehicle drivers must show certificates on testing negative for SARS-CoV-2 with the more reliable PCR testing method. The certificate from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Hai Duong must have been granted within the last three days.

The drivers carrying goods from Hai Phong to Hai Duong must show certification from vehicle owners or local authorities. When returning to Hai Phong, they must quarantine for 14 days and take a test.

Quang Ninh province’s deputy chair Nguyen Thi Hanh denied that Quang Ninh is creating obstacles for trading of goods, saying that provincial authorities are creating the most favorable conditions for goods exchange between the two localities.

According to Hanh, vehicles carrying food and foodstuff are prioritized to enter Quang Ninh. However, there must be only one driver for each vehicle.

Drivers of goods-carrying vehicles must show contracts and travel plans during their stay in Quang Ninh for easier control.

Bac Giang province’s Party Committee Secretary Duong Van Thai on February 20 also affirmed that the province does not prevent vehicles from the neighboring province of Hai Duong from entering Bac Giang.

“Drivers of vehicles with goods from Hai Duong must make medical declarations and wear protective clothing. The drivers and vehicles must be disinfected. Covid-19 testing certificate is not required,” he said.

Deputy chair of Bac Ninh province Vuong Quoc Tuan on February 19 signed a document requesting check-points to create favorable conditions for goods-carrying vehicles to go through the locality or enter the province.

However, only one driver per vehicle is accepted. When entering Bac Ninh, drivers must make medical declarations and show lawful documents about the goods.

Meanwhile, the chair of Hung Yen province Tran Quoc Van has affirmed that the province is not receiving people from Hai Duong at this time.

“We accept goods-carrying vehicles. But there must be only one driver for each vehicle,” he said.

Thai Binh province’s Party Committee Secretary Ngo Dong Hai said that Thai Binh hasn't placed difficulties for Hai Duong. The province has spent VND1 billion to buy N95 face masks to give to Hai Duong.

“Helping Hai Duong fight the epidemic is what Thai Binh is doing,” he said.

The official said that Thai Binh is "doing everything it can to share difficulties with the neighboring province".

“We try to assist and create favorable conditions for them (Hai Duong) to reach the dual goal (developing local economy and fighting epidemic) and contribute to the country’s social development,” he said.

“Hai Duong’s people have undergone three outbreaks. But it is really serious this time. Thai Binh will not do anything that may cause difficulties for them,” he said, adding that vehicle drivers are not required to show Covid-19 test results to enter Thai Binh. 

Nguyen Thu Hang - Pham Cong

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