‘Closed-loop’ plan for drivers urged to ease vegetable crisis


Authorities should make cross-border drivers live in hotels in a “closed-loop” style similar to that of crews to reduce the risk of transmission and keep food prices stable, lawmaker Edward Lau said. Kwok-fan.

It came as the director of the Hong Kong Imported Vegetable Wholesale Merchants Association, Chan Chi-wai, said about 30% of the roughly 300 cross-border truck drivers delivering vegetables are currently under quarantine.

He said the supply chain was counting on the rest of the drivers to make up the shortfall with overtime, which is not sustainable as around 15% of the drivers plan to quit and they haven’t had a chance. no choice but to increase the rate. from HK$800 for a round trip up to HK$3,000 to hold them.

Lau offered Hong Kong drivers to hand over their trucks to mainland drivers at the Man Kam To border post and undergo Covid-19 tests.

Hong Kong drivers then wait at designated hotels after testing, while mainland drivers drive to vendors to bring fresh produce back to the border post.

Lau also suggested banning truckers from delivering fresh vegetables directly to wet markets and requiring them to drop off their loads at wholesale markets to avoid contact with the community.

Lau’s party colleague, agriculture and fisheries lawmaker Steven Ho Chun-yin, called on the SAR administration to increase vegetable price transparency and disclose the daily volume of fresh produce supplied in Hong Kong.

However, Hong Kong Food Council Chairman Thomas Ng Wing-yan said the vegetable supply was very fluid yesterday and had already returned to 90% of normal levels, which is enough to meet local demand.

Ng said he expects supply to return to normal in three to four days, after facilities where new cases have been discovered complete disinfection, followed by prices shortly thereafter.

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