April 08, 2020 01:07

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Lang Son: Drivers wearing protective clothing across border not subject to 14-day isolation

09:30 | 16/02/2020

VCN – The leader of Lang Son Provincial People's Committee has instructed Lang Son Department of Health to develop regulations to comply with the Ministry of Finance’s Document 568 dated February 8, 2020. Accordingly, those driving vehicles carrying import and export goods using protective clothing according to standards across the border are not required to be isolated for 14 days.

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The People's Committee of Lang Son province has requested authorities at Huu Nghi international border gate implement the regulation that Vietnamese and Chinese drivers and goods owners who wear medical protective clothing in accordance with regulations are not subject to 14-day isolation.

At the same time, authorities will continue to seriously implement the task of detoxification and sterilisation; regularly monitor and coordinate to strictly control porters and drivers isolated at the border gate; and formulate a management process and guide drivers and goods owners on how to use protective clothing. The People's Committee of Lang Son province encourages enterprises to acquire protective clothing for Vietnamese and Chinese drivers and goods owners to wear upon loading and unloading goods at Huu Nghi international border gate.

lang son drivers wearing protective clothing across border not subject to 14 day isolation
Competent forces inspecting the goods at Huu Nghi international border gate

Departments, agencies and competent forces in the area also need to continue to grasp information and recommend inland provinces reduce the number of vehicles moving to Lang Son border gate during the epidemic, especially sub-border gates.

The Lang Son Provincial People's Committee also proposed Xuan Cuong bus station deploy detoxification and strictly manage drivers and goods owners in isolated areas, and create the best conditions for enterprises engaging in imports and exports in this period.

According to Nguyen Cong Truong, Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People's Committee, to prevent and control the Corona virus, all border markets and sub-border gates in Lang Son area have been tightened and do not implement customs clearance. In the area, only Huu Nghi international border gate has restored customs clearance but required drivers across the border to be isolated for 14 days, leading to many difficulties.

“Drivers and goods owners all complained that the 14-day isolation made them unable to do any business. Moreover, the infrastructure is not good enough to isolate hundreds of people at the same time. Not to mention, when drivers are isolated, who will drive trucks? If the trucks are at the border, there is not sufficient room,” said Truong.

Previously, the Ministry of Health instructed seven provinces bordering with China on epidemic prevention for drivers across border gates. Accordingly, drivers and shippers were permitted to transport goods to the delivery area at the border and not permitted to move inland. They will have to wear protective clothing, masks and wash their hands constantly with soap (or hand sanitiser). When returning, they must take off their protective clothing and masks at the isolated area of ​​the border gate, then go through medical quarantine. Drivers and shippers will not be isolated but must monitor their health and promptly notify local health authorities when having symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath.

Similarly, Chinese drivers and shippers to Vietnam must also apply such measures.

The Ministry of Health also requires border management and medical quarantine agencies at the border gates to disinfect two-way transport means and instruct drivers and shippers to carry out hygiene measures and how to wear and remove protective clothing and equipment.

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Some border gates have been reopened, except some sub-border gates adjacent to Lang Son, Ha Giang and Cao Bang. However, clearance progress of the Chinese side is still slow due to a lack of manpower. In general, the number of containers of agricultural products congested at the border gates is nearly 500, meaning drivers still have to wait at border gates.

By Dao Le/ Huyen Trang