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Correct procedures can prevent infection from packages

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou


(China Daily)


Updated: 2021-11-12

A disease prevention and control expert says people should not panic when they receive packages from medium- and high-risk areas as long as they receive their parcels in the correct way.

Zhu Renyi, director of the disinfection and infection control section at the Shanghai Municipal Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said he has yet to find anyone infected with COVID-19 after receiving parcels.

Zhu urged people to avoid touching their mouths, ears or noses while unpacking parcels and to immediately wash their hands afterward to lower the risk of being infected.

"If the parcels come from abroad, or domestic medium- and high-risk areas, the receivers can ask the couriers to put the parcels outside the door or at the gate of their housing estates first and receive and unpack the parcels while wearing a mask and gloves," Zhu was quoted as saying by ThePaper.cn.

The surface of parcels should be disinfected with a spray or wet tissues before they are unpacked, he added.

Zhu made his remarks after packages from Jinzhou, Hebei province, and Ereenhot, Inner Mongolia autonomous region, were recently found to be contaminated, causing many people to worry about being infected with the novel coronavirus after receiving packages.

Some people's health codes were reported to have turned from green to yellow after receiving packages in the previous week.

Few Chinese residents can resist the temptation of shopping online on Nov 11, when most online stores offer big Singles Day discounts to attract buyers during the country's biggest online shopping festival.

To help block the spread of the novel coronavirus, express delivery services in three parts of Hebei were suspended after a staff member at an online shopping company was diagnosed with COVID-19. The surfaces of some outgoing packages were examined and found to be contaminated.

All delivery services-in and out-have been suspended in the cities of Jinzhou and Xinji, and in Shenze county, a courier said.

The cities of Botou and Hejian, plus Xianxian county, issued an emergency notice asking all companies to seal and disinfect parcels acquired since Oct 18 from the online shopping company Haohui Store in Jinzhou, according to media reports.

Government departments are investigating the case and introducing measures to help contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

Many express delivery centers across the country have been ordered to seal and disinfect packages from Haohui Store, while couriers and others who have had contact with the parcels must report their health condition. They are being isolated for further medical observation and testing, Qilu Evening News reported.

Deliveries from Haohui Store have been reported in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Shaanxi, Zhejiang, Gansu and Hunan and in the Guangxi Zhuang and Inner Mongolia autonomous regions in recent weeks.

Wang Xin, a resident of Jinan, Shandong, said he was relieved when members of his family tested negative on Wednesday. The family had been isolated for a week after Wang received garments for his daughter late last month from Haohui Store.

Zhao Xiaosong, another Jinan resident, was also isolated for a week after receiving a package from the store.

Wang and Zhao are among many people who have been quarantined after making purchases online from the country's medium- and high-risk areas.