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Epidemic Control Measures Eased at China-Myanmar Border Crossings

December 21, 2022

China has recently relaxed epidemic prevention and control measures at two border crossings between China’s Yunnan province and Myanmar’s Kachin state, according to Burmese media reports. The affected crossings are Houqiao–Kan Paik Ti and Zhangfeng–Lwegel.

A banana trader confirmed the development, saying that China is now permitting the free flow of goods across the border. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 200 to 300 trucks entered China daily through border crossings in Kachin state. The number dropped to less than 10 trucks per day during the three years of China’s coronavirus controls. Now, after the relaxation, there are 30-40 vehicles passing through each day.

Traders in Myanmar are nevertheless still following some COVID-era regulations on goods exported to China, such as applying pre-departure sterilization to fresh bananas and disinfecting banana packing plants.

During the epidemic control period, truck drivers in Myanmar had to undergo a 15-day quarantine before setting off to China and take at least three PCR tests before entering China. The whole process was quite time consuming and liable to cause long delays.

A banana truck driver from the land port of Lwegel commented that since the relaxation, quarantine is no longer necessary for drivers. “Previously it took a long time to find a replacement for the quarantined driver, and to wait for the trucks to be sprayed with disinfectants,” he said. ”It is great that all these restrictions have been eased.”

In 2021 and 2022, during the period of regulations imposed by the Chinese government to control the COVID-19 pandemic, banana producers in Kachin state faced a number of difficulties such as low banana yields, increased labor costs and extra spending for disinfection measures.

Images: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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