China's National Health Commission has urged people to wear gloves and masks when receiving and unwrapping parcels, after a locally transmitted Omicron case in Beijing may have contracted the virus from an international parcel.
Twelve samples of the parcel, that originated in Canada and arrived in Beijing via the US and Hong Kong, returned positive for COVID-19, while the infected person had not left Beijing within 14 days, nor had any contact with other cases.
READ MORE: Omicron Variant Hits Capital Beijing
In response, the National Health Commission issued the following advice:
Courier personnel should wear masks and gloves at all times when handling parcels
Non-contact way is the best way to deliver/receive parcels
Ask courier personnel to put parcels inside lockers if conditions permit
Be aware that disinfecting parcels does not eliminate all infection hazards
Wear masks and gloves if receiving parcels direct from courier personnel
Unwrap parcels outdoors and dispose of packaging immediately
Properly clean hands after receiving and unwrapping parcels
Particular attention should be paid to parcels containing seafood with cold-chain delivery
The State Post Bureau has also ordered increased measures in the disinfection and ventilation of international parcel handling venues and the disinfection of parcels.
The probability of a live COVID-19 virus on long-distance transport parcels is not high, they said, and is linked with the parcel material, as well as temperature and environment.
So, while there is no need to panic, the Commission offered the advice as a timely reminder to exercise caution, and do what you can to avoid transmission.
[Cover image via webmd.com]