Are packages from China safe
China is one of the most developed economies in the world, and at the same time, the largest supplier of cheap goods. On whatever continent the recipient is located, he has the opportunity to get what he wants, in a relatively short time, and for little money.
Due to this property of the Celestial Empire, investors, entrepreneurs and ordinary people fell in love with it, increasing the demand for cheap raw materials from China every year.
This idyll would have continued for decades if Wuhan had not gifted China, and subsequently practically the whole world, with an outbreak of a new infection – SARS-CoV-2, or in the common people “Coronavirus-2019” in 2019.
The epidemiological conditions in China have given rise to many questions, including:
- Is it safe to receive goods from China by mail?
Are packages from China safe? This article is designed to help everyone who wants to weigh the pros and cons, based on the characteristics of the virus and other risk factors for the mail message, in a pandemic.
“What is Coronavirus and how is it transmitted”
Coronavirus is the causative agent of acute respiratory pneumonia. The infection is transmitted by airborne droplets. The infected person sneezes, coughs, spreading microdroplets with virions through the air at a distance of up to two meters. Inhalation is enough to become a carrier. Meanwhile, the drops are heavy and quickly settle. This is good news, because in this case, the wind cannot carry the virus on its own. However, it is possible to get infected by contact, by touching the infected surface, and inadvertently delivering the virus to the nearest mucous membrane of the body, for example, touching the face with dirty hands.
“What they say at WHO”
There is still no sensible research about 2019 – nCoV. The good news is that 2019-nCoV is similar to other SARS and MERS Coronaviruses.
Scientists have got enough SARS and MERS. And they are sure – the conclusions are true for the new mutation – 2019-nCoV. Moreover, Coronavirus 2019 has more in common with SARS.
In order to come closer to understanding the risks that parcels from China may carry, it is important to look at the research data on the survival of the new Coronavirus stamp on various surfaces, in order to understand the terms of its viability. It looks like this:
- Glass – 4 days;
- Paper (including wrapping) – 4/5 days;
- Tree – 4 days;
- Plastic – 5 days;
- Steel – 48 hours;
- Aluminum – from 2 to 8 hours;
Given that the average waiting time for a parcel from China is about two weeks, the virus has virtually no chance of remaining in an active and threatening state. If the package arrived in a short time, you can always let it lie down in the mail warehouse, a couple more days.
Environmental conditions and Coronavirus
No less important is the conditions under which parcels are transported. Coronavirus is unstable and sensitive to environmental changes, which makes its own adjustments. Temperatures above 70 significantly reduce the number of active virions of infection. And such an effect over 60 minutes and completely kills him, like ultraviolet radiation, at the same time. It should be borne in mind that delivery takes place in conditions of extreme temperature extremes, which also plays into the hands of a happy recipient.
How things are in China itself
Officially, China does not publish order statistics. However, if we talk about a potential threat, it is difficult not to notice, for example, data on orders from Ukraine. They indicate that the peak of orders falls precisely at the beginning of the epidemic of Coronavirus in the Middle Kingdom – on November 11 and 12, 2019. During these two days, Ukrainians bought several million goods. Given this fact, it can be assumed that even if 1% of the packages were infected, now in Ukraine hospitals were filled with millions of infected people, which in reality does not happen.
In China, it is claimed that every parcel from Wuhan is carefully processed. Transport for transportation is also disinfected, and the wchiorks themselves wear masks. Meanwhile, the company warns that parcels may be delayed for a couple of days. The reasons for this are commonplace and obvious:
- Goods are subject to rigorous inspection;
- Disinfection requires a certain amount of time;
- Workers with any symptoms of the common cold go home, which creates an additional burden;
This all leads to slower order processing. But this is perhaps the lesser of evils.
Are packages from China safe? It is theoretically possible to become infected with Coronavirus through a package. However, for this the sender (whose health is under the strict supervision of the company), for starters, it is necessary to bring him there. And subsequently, the infection, subjecting to: disinfection, extreme temperature extremes, and two-week shipment to the destination, must maintain a sufficient number of active virions to be able to have a negative effect, given that not every one of them carries a mutation that leads to acute symptoms.
It is possible to completely mitigate risks by performing hygiene rituals that have already become routine in an epidemic. Namely:
- Do not touch the mucous membranes of the eyes or mouth. Avoid any contact with the face;Wash hands regularly, thereby eliminating any chance of the virus surviving.