All goods 'essential': transport minister on Covid-19 restrictions

By Doan Loan   August 25, 2021 | 11:02 pm PT
All goods 'essential': transport minister on Covid-19 restrictions
Cargo trucks are left stagnant at a gateway to Can Tho City, August 24, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long
All types of goods must be considered "essential" and their transporters must be allowed to pass all Covid-19 checkpoints, Minister of Transport Nguyen Van The said.

Except for prohibited ones, all goods are important at this time, The told an online meeting Wednesday with ministries of industry-trade and agriculture on creating favorable conditions for transporting goods under Covid-19 restrictions.

He affirmed all roads and waterways have now been made available for transporting goods.

"All vehicles transporting goods are allowed to circulate and issuing QR codes for drivers is just a means for inspection at Covid-19 checkpoints to manage violations," he said.

The minister required all checkpoints to ensure there would be no traffic jams and if so, barricades should be removed for all drivers carrying goods.

The issuance of QR codes must be made automatic so drivers could update their codes on their mobile phones without having to go through all the procedures once again in case there are any changes in Covid-19 restriction rules, he said.

The minister made such statements as the transportation of goods has stagnated in many localities after more stringent social distancing rules were imposed.

Some localities have required drivers to present an extra certificate issued by their own authorities aside from the Transport Ministry's QR code, while the southern Can Tho requested all goods arriving in the city be transferred to other trucks before entry.

Besides, many localities have requested drivers to provide PRC test results no older than 48 hours though the Health Ministry’s requirement is 72 hours.

Phung Duc Tien, Deputy Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said for now, the transportation of goods on national and provincial roads is easy but moving among districts, communes and wards has been "extremely difficult," with inconsistent regulations affecting the quality of agricultural products.

"The current rule for pandemic control is to control the health of drivers since the vehicles and goods are not sources of infection. Therefore, it is both costly and time-consuming when local authorities keep spraying disinfectant on both vehicles and goods," he said.

Minister The requested Can Tho to withdraw the rule to transfer goods from one truck to another in order to enter the city, saying that "when issuing any regulations, localities need to carefully assess all impacts that could cause difficulties for businesses and the people, especially in the transportation process."

Vietnam has yet to put the fourth Covid-19 wave that emerged four months ago under control.

In recent times, community outbreaks have grown complex in southern localities, with Ho Chi Minh City hit hardest.

So far in the wave, the nation has recorded 377,245 cases and 9,314 deaths.

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