2020 kicked off on a panicky note with the coronavirus spreading at the speed of light. Thanks to sensationalism by the media, most people are getting paranoid without even knowing the facts. Many industries, especially the electronics and IT sector, are currently facing a great depression due to the infectious virus.
However, it’s a relief to see sites like Facebook banning misinformation about Coronavirus after WHO declared a global health emergency. Yet it doesn’t take much time for fake news to spread, making people fear their packages from China that could carry the deadly coronavirus. Thankfully, health experts have some good news for us.
While Chinese companies are struggling to clear doubts, experts have already arrived at a positive conclusion. Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, Senior Scholar, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, confirms that the temperature and conditions surrounding such packaging is not favorable for the virus’ survival.
He adds, “I suspect that even with overnight shipping, the transit conditions are not conducive to the virus remaining viable, given that it takes a special combination of environmental conditions for a virus to remain viable that is not readily achieved in shipping,”. Furthermore, previous experiments have proved that coronaviruses cannot sustain long on parcels and letters, so the concern is irrelevant.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agrees with the above explanation, “There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.” Since coronavirus is known to spread most via respiratory droplets, there have been no cases of the virus transmitting from imported goods.
Other types of coronaviruses and how to get rid of them
Different groups of this rapidly spreading virus, like SARS, MERS, and HCV, can survive on inanimate objects like metal, plastic, glass, etc. They can live on such surfaces for nine days, but the disinfecting process is simple and quick. According to the WHO, thoroughly cleaning surfaces with water and detergent, and applying common hospital-level disinfectants like sodium hypochlorite can kill the virus.
Adalja rightly pointed out that our overreaction is causing more harm than the outbreak itself. As responsible citizens, we should get our facts straight and only share certified information and prevention methods.
On the other hand, the China Post, China’s postal service, is currently disinfecting its postal offices, processing centers, transportation, etc.
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