Tuesday, January 18, 2022

China suspects COVID-19 might arrive in overseas mail – EURACTIV.com

China is urging people to wear masks and gloves when opening mail, especially from abroad, after authorities suggested the first case of the Omicron coronavirus virus variant found in Beijing could have arrived via a package from Canada.

Authorities vowed to step up disinfection of overseas mail and are insisting postal staff handling it are fully vaccinated.

The precautions come less than three weeks before the capital opens the Winter Olympic Games and as several cities work to stamp out new outbreaks of coronavirus infections.

“Minimize purchases of overseas goods or receiving mail from abroad,” state broadcaster CCTV said late on Monday (18 January) in a social media post.

“Be sure to protect yourself during face-to-face handovers and wear masks and gloves; try to open the package outdoors.”

Health officials said the person found infected with the Omicron variant opened a package from Canada that had been routed through the United States and Hong Kong and transmission via the package “could not be ruled out”.

The case highlighted the importance of “personal defence”, CCTV said.

Similar suggestions on how to handle parcels, not just those from overseas, were made by the National Health Commission on its official WeChat account and reposted by authorities in the cities of Shanghai and Nanjing.

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