Buenos Aires Weather | Covid testing sparks fears in Argentina’s supply chain over border queues

Up to 2,000 trucks are stuck at Argentina’s main border crossing point with Chile due to stricter Covid-19 testing requirements, Argentine transporters said on Tuesday, adding that the supply chain could suffer from it.

Some 900 trucks a day typically pass through the Christ the Redeemer crossing from Argentina’s Mendoza province to Chile.

But these were backed up for two days due to stricter health checks imposed on Argentine carriers by Chile, the Federación Argentina de Entidades Empresarias del Autotransporte de Cargas de Argentina (Argentine Federation of Commercial Cargo Entities) said in a communicated.

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“At any moment, the supply chain will break. It’s not a funnel, it’s a stopper. Indeed, the border is closed,” Daniel Gallart, of the Mendoza Truck Owners Association, told AFP. “We are talking about 1,800 or 2,000 trucks. They come from all over Mercosur. traffic, 50% are Argentinian, 30% Brazilian and the rest from other countries.

Truck owners demand intervention from Argentine Foreign Ministry and also want more test stations to speed up process

The delays are costing millions of dollars to international trade moving through Chile to ports on its Pacific coast. The trucking industry has already been hit hard by the pandemic. In 2018, before the pandemic, more than 580,000 trucks crossed the Argentine-Chilean border there, estimates a recent binational study.

Both countries have high levels of vaccinated people, but Argentina is in the midst of a new wave of infections with the highly contagious variant of Omicron, with around 120,000 new cases and 200 deaths per day. Chile has already started giving citizens a fourth dose, while Argentina has 86.1% of the population with one dose and 75.2% with two doses. Just over 21% have already received the reminder.

Chilean sources say the delays could be aggravated by the transit of Argentine tourists to Chile, who are also forced to comply with health requirements.

– TIMES/AFP

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