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Truckers Must Apply For COVID-19 Certificates

Truckers Must Apply For COVID-19 Certificates: After three truck drivers tested positive for COVID-19, health authorities have begun testing all long-haul truck drivers before they leave Yangon, the Myanmar Highway Freight Transportation Service Association said.

Yangon health authorities started testing the truckers and their assistants using Antigen Rapid Test Kits at the Myanmar Convention Centre in Yangon. “Three truck drivers tested positive among those applying for COVID-19-free certificates. They do not have symptoms, and not many people have had close contact with them. About 50 truck drivers took COVID-19 tests,” said U San Lwin, secretary of the association.

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Starting October, the drivers and their helpers were allowed to drive on the Yangon-Mandalay highway if they could show COVID-19 certificates. “We allowed trucks on the highway to facilitate the flow of goods, but they have to have COVID-19 certificates from Yangon. They can drive on the highway from 5:30pm to midnight,” said the head of the Highway Police.

People who want to take the test for the certificate must apply to the Union of Myanmar Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Construction has announced that trucks using the Yangon-Mandalay highway must pay an entry fee between October 5 and November 30.

The trucks must use only the right lane at 60 kilometres per hour, while private vehicles limits are allowed to go 100kph and buses 80kph. Truck drivers must rest only at specified rest stops and are not allowed to stay randomly at roadside inns. If they fail to follow the regulations or carry too much weight, they will not be allowed to pass next time.

A total of 172 trucks used the Yangon-Mandalay highway on the first day the order was issued. The chief ministers of Bago Region and Mon State met to discuss ways to ensure the smooth flow of goods between their areas, according to a post on the Bago government Facebook page.

To avoid traffic jams at Sittaung Bridge on their common border, where about 500 trucks have been stranded, they agreed that Mon will test truck drivers coming from Mon for COVID-19 and Bago will test those coming from Bago. The two chief ministers met at Tha Byay camp on Shwe Than Lwin highway near the bridge.

Twenty people were found to have COVID-19 among the 1337 truck drivers and assistants who were tested in Bago.