In China, the number of people coming down with Covid-19 is gradually increasing. The number of positive cases in port cities is also on the rise.
In Tianjin, a major economic and commercial center not far from Beijing, 20 were reported over the weekend, all linked to the highly contagious Omicron variant. The local government has initiated citywide testing and imposed travel restrictions.
Based on Lloyd’s List’s account, the outbreak in the area has not, at least for the moment, interrupted ship handling services although the new restrictive measures could certainly lead to new bottlenecks when entering and leaving the port.
Based on past experience, truck drivers may face stricter inspections before coming into the port to prevent port workers from getting infected. Similar measures have already been taken in Shenzhen, where four local Delta cases have been confirmed since January 7.
At Yantian Container International Terminal on the east side of the city, container truck drivers are subject to body temperature inspections and must present digital health documents before being admitted to the gate. Those showing red or yellow color codes, indicating they have been in areas considered at risk, will be banned from entry.
According to Sea Intelligence, the risk of closures in China is significant due to the combination of a zero-tolerance policy toward Covid and a variant of Omicron that is much more contagious than previous strains.
Translation by Giles Foster