(Image Source: CFP)
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued stricter sanitation guidelines for delivery firms in the country. This comes after a number of inbound packages from earlier this month were found to contain traces of the pathogen. While there was no positive case among those who came in direct contact with the parcels, CDC still urges companies to step up disinfection of delivery equipment and also provide their personnel with hygienic supplies throughout their shifts.
Hong Kong authorities also detected one package from Inner Mongolia with coronavirus. “High-risk areas should stop receiving and delivering packages, and couriers should improve how they monitor their health,” says Zhang Liubo, Chief Expert for disinfection at CDC. In response to this, many courier companies including ZTO Express and SF Express have agreed to strengthen their anti-virus protocols to keep the delivery chain safe.
Health experts, on the other hand, claim otherwise. According to Emmauel Goldman, Professor of microbiology at Rutgers University, transmission through the mail is “extremely unlikely” as “the virus is fragile and dies quickly outside of a human host under normal real-life conditions.” Professor Leo Poon Lit-man from the University of Hong Kong also shares this opinion. He points out the possibility of workers being carriers themselves, thus unknowingly contaminating the parcels while working.