NatRoad issues advice for mitigating Covid risk

Revisit risk protocols in face of new variants, Clark says

NatRoad issues advice for mitigating Covid risk
Contactless delivery procedures should be preferred

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad) is urging its members to revisit Covid-19 risk controls in the face of more virulent strains emerging.

With Victoria seeing a Melbourne lockdown extension, likely for another week, NatRoad CEO Warren Clark highlights the highly transmissible nature of the B.1.617 strain, which was first detected in India and has since spread to more than 40 countries and appears to be much more infectious than other strains.

"In Victoria, there was only one case at the beginning of May and there are now 4,200 primary close contacts," Clark says.

"It has been a rapidly moving virus and the transmission that has occurred in those high-risk settings has been very substantial.

"What is being seen now is people becoming infected with Covid-19 after just ‘brushing past’ strangers with the virus.

"The level of contact between the people is, relatively speaking, quite fleeting."

Read about trucking concerns on Covid border closures, here

NatRoad says stopping the spread at the source remains key and urges members to revisit their risk plans and seek advice if needed.

"Current measures to reduce transmission should continue, including frequent hand washing, wearing a face mask, social distancing, good ventilation and avoiding crowded places or closed settings," Clark says.

"For freight operators, it is also reinforcing that contactless delivery procedures should be preferred and negotiating those arrangements with customers made a priority."

Clark said getting vaccinated is also a critical tool in the battle against Covid-19, and there are clear public health and lifesaving benefits.

"As more people get vaccinated, the virus circulation is expected to decrease, the risk of transmission will reduce, which will then lead to fewer mutations.

"But even when vaccinations become common place, it is likely a regime of Covid-19 testing will remain in place.

"This is because even when vaccinated, people can still carry the virus."

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