Deliveryman Suspected of Virus! - Are Deliveries Safe?

Source: JobTube, Arianna J., Josh B.

According to the official WeChat of Shibei District Health Committee of Qingdao on January 27, the day before, a new case of Wuhan pneumonia was confirmed in Shibei District of Qingdao.

The patient, a 44-year-old woman, has been isolated in a designated hospital, and nine close contacts have been tracked and managed. Her husband Liu is also a suspected patient. Liu returned to Qingdao from Wuhan on January 13, and before his wife was diagnosed, he had already had symptoms of cough and expectoration. However, as a delivery man, he continued working during that time. 

Up until his wife's diagnosis, Liu had delivered meals 36 times in the South District of Qingdao. Subsequently, the local government has brought the people involved into the daily home medical observation.

Could the Virus Spread Through Deliveries?

On January 30, the National Health Commission of the PRC held a press conference to introduce the transportation security in epidemic prevention and control. According to the statistics of the State Post Office on January 30; from January 24 to 29, the national postal industry received 81.25 million parcels, an increase of 76.6% year on year, and delivered 78.17 million parcels, an increase of 110.34% year on year.

Hou Yanbo, deputy director of market supervision department of State Post Bureau of the PRC, said that according to experts, the spread of the virus is mainly through two channels, one is through droplets, the other is through close contact with patients. The risk of the virus spreading through delivery is very low. However, hand washing is necessary after receiving a delivery.

Hou said that the State Post Bureau has arranged to avoid the turnover of mail in Wuhan as much as possible. As of January 30, the delivery service in Wuhan was basically stable. From January 23 to 29, Wuhan collected 837,000 parcels and delivered 1,027,000 parcels.

According to Professor Shan of the Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, people shall not contact poultry and wild animals with unknown health conditions, nor send or receive unprocessed poultry. Besides that, there is no need to reject normal deliveries. However, in addition to some urgent supplies, during the epidemic period, people shall try not to send or receive deliveries from Wuhan to reduce the possibility of indirect contact infection. 

In addition, when receiving a delivery or take out, the receiver can ask the courier to put it outside the door, so as to reduce the chance of infection via indirect contact.

How to Receive and Send Goods Safely During this Period of Time

On January 31, 2020, Hangzhou Post Administration put forward the following three suggestions for express service:

  1. Reduce face-to-face contact. During the outbreak, consumers shall cooperate with the deliverymen to use express cabinet or designated receiving places to receive expresses according to the requirements of local government and property management.

  2. If face-to-face service is a must, then wear a mask; if a customer has fever or other symptoms of virus infection, he/she shall entrust others to handle the delivery.

  3. If it is necessary to mail anti-epidemic materials including masks, protective clothing, goggles, etc., it is recommended to give priority to the services of three brand enterprises, namely China Post, S.F. Express and JD Logistics, so as to ensure timely delivery.

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