Health and Fitness

Can You Get Coronavirus from Lazada?

Most of the items sold online come from China.
IMAGE UNSPLASH/NEEDPIX
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Amid the coronavirus panic and the depleted supply of masks in the city after Taal’s eruption, a friend decided to outsmart everybody by ordering a box of surgical and n95 masks online.

“It’s only P95!” he said proudly.

Unwittingly, he didn’t realize the masks all came from Wuhan, China, where the dreaded novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV originated.

As if dousing the box with a whole bottle of 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wasn’t enough, he set fire to the parcel, not only wasting P95 of good money, but also accelerating global warming just to placate his germophobia.

But can you really get coronavirus from Lazada, Shoppee, and all the other online shopping apps that source their products from China?

Highly unlikely, says CDC

Among the frequently asked questions on the Center for Disease Control or CDC website is whether you can get infected with the coronavirus if you receive a package or products shipped from China.

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According to the CDC, coronaviruses (such as SARS, MERS, and 2019-nCoV) have a history of poor survivability on surfaces, which is why “there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.”

“Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods,” said the CDC on its website. Exposure to UV rays or sunlight is also likely to kill the virus.

You are most likely to catch novel coronavirus if you come into contact with an infected person.

Coronavirus is transmitted most effectively by respiratory droplets through coughing and sneezing. You are most likely to catch the disease if you come into close contact with an infected person. According to the CDC, “close contact” means being two meters away from an infected person or being in a room or care area of a person with the disease for a long period of time while unprotected.

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So, no, your package probably doesn't have coronavirus, nor are you likely to contract one from Lazada, which likely disinfects shipments before sending them out.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
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