Q: Is it safe to receive a letter or a package from China?
A: “Yes, it is safe. People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting 2019nCoV. From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages”, according to WHO’s opinion.
Since 2019nCoV fastly spread from Wuhan to entire China and around the world, people are concerned whether packages shipped from China will transmit the 2019nCoV, in particular the World Health Organization(WHO) announced 2019nCoV a public health emergency of international concern(PHEIC) on 31st, Jan.
It is understandable that people care about personal health as the 2019nCoV expand so widely and all people are vulnerable. As of 2rd, Feb, in addition to Chinese over 14,000 confirmed cases, about 140 infected cases have been found in 22 countries including the United States, Japan, Thailand, France, Germany and the like. And some authorities like the U.S. announced restrictions on international travel from China or persons who were in China in past 14 days.
However, as the general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “This is the time for facts, not fear; This is the time for science, not rumors; This is the time for solidarity, not stigma.” WHO also doesn’t recommend limiting trade & movement.
Travel restrictions can cause more harm than good by hindering info-sharing & medical supply chains & harming economies. We urge countries & companies to make evidence-based, consistent decisions.
One of the best solutions not affected by rumors is to learn the scientific principle of 2019nCoV such as transmission principle.
What are the transmission ways of the virus?
According to data from the National Health Commission(NHC), there are three transmission ways for the 2019nCoV: Respiratory droplets transmission, contact transmission, and aerosol transmission.
Droplet transmission is also called direct transmission. Infection may happen when close contact or direct inhalation of droplet of sneezing, coughing, talking or exhaling from an infected patient.
Contact transmission Someone could be infected once touched the surface of an article contaminated by droplets carried with virus, and transmitted virus to one’s mouth, nasal cavity, eyes or other mucous membrane.
Aerosol transmission Someone could be infected once inhaled aerosols formed by a patient’s droplets or blood mix in the air.
How long do viruses live outside the body?
According to the National Health Service(NHS), most viruses which cause colds only survive on hands for a short amount of time. Although some cold viruses have been shown to survive on surfaces for several days, their ability to cause an infection reduces rapidly and they don’t often survive longer than 24 hours.
Besides cold viruses, Flu viruses capable of being transferred to hands and causing an infection can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses can survive on tissues for only 15 minutes. Like cold viruses, infectious flu viruses survive for much shorter periods on the hands. After 5 minutes the amount of flu virus on hands falls to low levels. Flu viruses can also survive as droplets in the air for several hours; low temperatures increase their survival in the air.
Therefore, if your customers are worried about parcels shipped from China and want to have a cancellation for orders, please tell them the parcels will not do harm to them. The parcels after weeks’ transportation are unable to cause transmission of this 2019nCoV because the virus doesn’t have infection even if it luckily survives.