An outbreak of the new corona virus at a logistics center operated by one of South Korea’s largest online shopping companies has raised concerns about whether the virus will spread through parcel delivery,media reported. E-commerce giant Coupang facility’s warehouse near Seoul has been linked to more than 117 cases of new coronary pneumonia.
Who are infected?
E-commerce giant Coupang facility’s warehouse near Seoul has been linked to more than 117 cases of new coronary pneumonia. There have been no distribution-related cases, and South Korean health officials are downplaying the possibility of package infections.
South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that while exposure to packages or foam packaging surfaces delivered by workers at infected logistics centers can cause infection, it is unlikely to spread this way.
“So far, there has been no precedent for the transmission of parcels to the world,” Kim Gang-lip, deputy health minister, said at a news conference. “
But health authorities and infectious disease experts have not ruled out the possibility of a person touching the eyes, nose or mouth after touching the contaminated packaging.
The World Health Organization (WHO), citing laboratory studies, found that the coronavirus, which causes neo-coronary pneumonia, can survive for 24 hours on cardboard and 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel.
Kim Woo-joo, a professor of infectious diseases at The University of California, Kyu-Joo, also points out that the virus can also survive on surfaces such as bubble membranes. “The virus can survive on cardboard for 24 hours and for more than three days on hard surfaces like stainless steel. There is no research on foam packaging, but it could be somewhere between cardboard and stainless steel,” he said.
Is fast delivery dangerous?
Many South Korean e-commerce brands are known for their less than 24-hour “bullet express”. Both Coupang and Market Kurly, which offer fast food delivery services, both report new cases of coronavirus infection in their logistics centers.
Some experts say this may increase the risk of the virus spreading because the packages won’t be placed for long.
“We should take into account the temperature and humidity of the package, but it could be infected overnight, ” said Shin Hyoung-shik, president of the Korean Society for Zoological Diseases and a well-known expert in the field of infectious diseases.
But Ki Mo-ran, a professor of cancer control and population health at The National Cancer Center in South Korea, disagrees, arguing that contaminated packaging is not easy and that it is safe for people to wash their hands. “It’s just that a small amount of the virus isn’t that contagious… The handle of public toilets can be more dangerous. “