Is it safe to be receiving delivery packages during coronavirus pandemic? - GulfToday

Is it safe to be receiving delivery packages during coronavirus pandemic?


This photo is used for illustrative purpose.

Gulf Today Report

Since the lockdown many people have had to acclimatise to spending the majority of their days cooped up in their homes.

Adapting to this temporary way of life has meant having to give up most of our everyday activities like hanging out with friends and shopping.

While online shopping is already a significant aspect of our lives, it has gained increasing importance during the coronavirus pandemic.

But, considering how much we have yet to learn about Covid-19, some have questioned whether it is safe to receive packages at your home.

So is it safe to accept deliveries at your front door?


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The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that it is currently “not certain” how long the coronavirus can survive on different surfaces.

However, the virus appears to “behave like other coronaviruses”, with research suggesting that coronaviruses are likely to remain on surfaces for between several hours to a few days.

While surfaces that have come into contact with the coronavirus may remain contaminated for a short amount of time, the WHO says that the “likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low”.

   Clothes hanging on a rack in a boutique.

Furthermore, according to the organisation, “the risk of catching the virus that causes Covid-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low”.

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine tested how long the coronavirus can last on different types of surfaces within a laboratory.

The study concluded that the virus “can remain viable” on copper for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours and on plastic and steel for up to three days.

Despite the study’s findings, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US states that transmission of Covid-19 to individuals from contaminated surfaces “has not been documented”.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) concurs with this point, saying that Covid-19 is “not known to be transmitted by exposure to food or food packaging”.

Should you clean parcels?

The CDC states that if a surface is “visibly dirty”, it would be “best practise” to clean it and then disinfect as a means of preventing both the coronavirus and the spread of “other viral respiratory illnesses”.

If you are concerned about contaminated or unclean surfaces, you could open your delivery packages outside, in the event that the weather holds up.

You should then dispose of the packaging as quickly as possible.

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