China warns of nCoV risk from Singles’ Day parcels

China warned of the risk of packages containing nCoV on the eve of the Singles Day shopping festival on 11/11, after three workers contracted Covid-19.

The warning was issued by Chinese authorities yesterday, after detecting three workers infected with nCoV at Haohui Ecommerce children’s clothing company, based in Hebei.

Authorities are testing packages and tracing order handlers after the infection was discovered at Haohui Ecommerce company. Delivery services in the two neighboring cities of Tan Xi and Tan Chau have also been suspended.

About 300 packages of Haohui Ecommerce were tested, all of which were negative. Chinese officials also took samples for testing 16 packages from a shipping company in Guangxi, southern China “related to the Covid-19 infection chain”.

The local health commission said that anyone who touched the above parcels needed to be tested and self-monitored to prevent nCoV infection.

Transport workers pick up goods from a warehouse in Beijing during last year's 11/11 shopping festival.  Photo: Reuters.

Transport workers pick up goods from a warehouse in Beijing during last year’s 11/11 shopping festival. Photo: Reuters.

Authorities in the city of Xilin Hao Te in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region also asked customers who have purchased or received goods from a local clothing store in the past month to report to the health authorities, after detecting traces. Covid-19 is here. Currently, the parcels tested at this store are negative for nCoV.

Concerns about the risk of nCoV spreading through parcels were raised by China just before Singles’ Day on 11/11, one of the biggest online shopping festivals of the year in China. Sales from this day last year totaled about 500 billion yuan (more than $78 billion).

China currently records more than 98,000 infections and more than 4,600 deaths from Covid-19. This country still persists in pursuing a “no-Covid” strategy by aggressively blocking, testing and tracing every time an infection is detected.

The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August suggested that the World Health Organization (WHO) should focus on investigating the origin of Covid-19 through frozen products imported into the country. . However, WHO experts believe that the risk of nCoV spreading through frozen goods is very low.

Ngoc Anh (Follow Bloomberg)

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