Am I at risk for COVID-19 infection from a package or shipping from China?: – The increase in the number of infected and dead victims due to the coronavirus is increasing public concern. Moreover, this coronavirus has infected several countries outside China.
This condition does not only make people increase awareness by using masks. However, some people also worry about receiving parcels from China. Recently a Facebook user sharing photos received a package shipped from China. He then tried to spray the package using disinfectant because he was afraid of contracting the coronavirus.
The concern grew as several social media users recalled a 1993 episode of The Simpsons, where the strange flu travels through a box from Osaka, Japan to the city of Springfield, sparking an epidemic. The World Health Organization has ruled on this, explaining that the coronavirus is transmitted from animals to people and from people to people.
Alexéi Rtischev, a Russian specialist in infectious diseases, explained in an interview with Sputnik News that it is 100% safe to buy products from China in online stores.
According to Galina Kozhévnikova, head of the department of infectious diseases, epidemiology and physiology of the Russian Peoples’ Friendship University (RUDN), adds that the chances of the virus being transmitted through international packages are unlikely. Due to the sensitivity that the pathogen can present to environmental changes.
According to the Ministry of Health of Mexico, people who receive packages or letters from the Asian country do not run the risk of contracting COVID-19, since this virus does not survive for long on objects.
In addition, the United States Department of Health and Human Services noted that there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported products, and in the US there has been no case of COVID-19 associated with imported products.
The World Health Organization has assured that it is safe to receive packages from the Asian country since coronaviruses do not survive long on objects. According to the WHO authority, People who receive packages from China are not at risk of contracting 2019nCoV the official name of the coronavirus.
Why is it safe to receive the package from China?
The outbreak of the 2019-Ncov virus made many people hesitate to shop in China or receive Chinese products and packages. Because it is feared that it could make the recipient of the package at risk of contracting the virus.
However many of the experts as quoted above and according to the WHO officials, it is safe to receive the packages from China and use the Chinese products.
1.Quite a Safe Package
According to Doctors and experts around the world, if you are afraid of the virus in the package from China, you don’t need to worry too much. Because the package is an inanimate object, moreover it will be exposed to heat long enough during transportation. If the package did get a virus, the virus will die.
Viruses can only survive if there are hosts that live like humans or animals, or indeed in special treatment. Christopher Lee, a doctor from Sungai Buloh Hospital, who is a national adviser to the infectious disease of the Malaysian Ministry of Health also revealed that receiving a package from China is relatively safe.
According to Lee, since the package takes about 24 hrs to get to its destination, so the virus cant survive.
Warning from package delivery service providers in China
China Post Express Mail Service (EMS), one of the providers of package delivery services in China, makes an announcement to disinfect all packages that will be sent. They said that they would disinfect the packages, vehicles twice for public safety.
Coronavirus survive for different time period on different surfaces
It has come to the light that the virus in the air survives for more duration than on nay other inanimate objects. The major source for transmitting the disease s via the air droplets from person to person and from animal to person.
If the viruses exiting from the human body lands on any surface be it plastic, cardboard, steel. They won’t be able to survive for a longer time as they need the host body to mutate and survive. Besides, the packages to reach to your destination minimal require 24 hr time period.
As quoted from The Economic Times, the risk or danger of infection that may be caused when someone touches the surface of an object is still relatively light. But it is different from viruses that are in the air. Viruses in the air might be a bit more dangerous for medical workers.
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus will be destroyed in just one day if it is on a cardboard box. Therefore you don’t need to worry too much that the shipment will spread the virus unless the person delivering the package has coughed or sneezed or has touched it with contaminated hands.
If you are worried about the danger of infection from the package you received then you can wipe it off first using disinfectant wipes and then wash your hands thoroughly.
Existing period of the virus on various surfaces
The Journal of Hospital Infection analyzed 22 studies of the Coronavirus. Here are the results, about how long the Coronavirus lasts at the surface of an object:
-In stainless steel, the coronavirus can last up to 5 days
-On metal, the coronavirus can last up to 5 days
-In aluminum and operating gloves, the coronavirus can last for 2-8 hours
-In wood, the coronavirus can last up to 4 days.
-In the glass, coronavirus can last up to 4 days
-On plastic, coronavirus can last 8 hours to 6 days
-On paper, coronavirus can last 4 to 5 days
-On PVC, coronavirus can last up to 5 days
-On ceramics, the coronavirus can last up to 5 days.
When a virus is suspended in droplets smaller than 5mm, it is known as an aerosol. According to the researchers, when the virus is still suspended or present in the form of aerosols in the air.
And has not been attached to the surface of the object that makes it able to live longer, the virus can remain suspended for approximately half an hour. The virus that is in the air is actually not very dangerous for people who are not near people who have been infected.
That is why viruses in the air are riskier for medical workers. No wonder why the medical staff is required to wear full clothing along with special eyeglasses and nose and mouth masks to protect the body. Several other studies, such as research from the JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) published on March 4, also say the same thing, namely viruses can be spread through the air.
The Singapore-based study found that viruses in ventilators in hospital rooms of infected patients can spread through the air. Other proof is done by comparing cigarette smoke or foggy breathing at very cold temperatures.
From there it was found that the closer and faster a person breathes, the more virus is captured. For those who are farther away, there will be only a few viruses that are captured and have little potential to become a danger.