The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) stressed the priority of conducting Covid-19 testing for truck drivers from Hai Duong province in a quickest way possible, aiming to avoid disruption to the movement of goods from the pandemic-hit area to other provinces/cities.
|Locals in Hanoi are buying farm produce from Hai Duong province. Photo: Duy Khanh|
The move came following complaints from traders that they could not ship farm produce out of Hai Duong province due to strict anti-Covid-19 measures imposed by neighboring localities.
“In fact, the majority of Covid-19 checkpoints in other provinces/cities have restricted trucks carrying goods from and out of Hai Duong province,” stated the MoIT, adding many were forced to wait for a long quarantine period, some even had to return.
“Such difficulties are making it hard for shipment of agricultural products and causing damages for agribusinesses and farmers,” it noted.
A report from Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade revealed over 90,000 tons of agricultural products are facing sales stagnation.
“If not properly resolved, the issue could impact the supply chains and cause disruption to economic activities of multiple provinces/cities,” said Pham Thanh Hai, director of Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade.
Meanwhile, chairman of the Hai Duong province People’s Committee Nguyen Duong Thai stated 80% of the province’s agricultural products for exports are scheduled to go through Hai Phong port from now on until late February.
“Failure to meet the delivery commitment not only causes economic losses for farmers and enterprises, but also damages the credibility of Vietnam’s agricultural products,” he urged.
According to the MoIT, the main reason is that drivers are required to have Covid-19 testing result certificate, but health facilities currently only carry out such tests for people under quarantine, and not open for on-demand.
“Certain provinces also do not accept testing results from private health facilities,” stated the MoIT, referring to the fact that the Hai Duong Center for Disease Control (CDC) was designated by Hai Phong’s authorities as the only qualified center for Covid-19 testing.
The MoIT also raised concern from the lack of an uniform safety procedure during the production and distribution of agricultural products from Covid-19 zones to other localities, leading to different measures from cities and provinces.
The MoIT requested the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development and the Ministry of Health to soon release a uniform procedure for agro-forestry-fishery production during the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure smooth distribution of farm produce in both domestic market and for exports.