How safe is home delivery?

Muscat: Millions are living in self-isolation globally in an attempt to limit the spread of Covid-19, which has resulted in empty streets and abandoned shopping carts out of fear that they may carry thousands of fingerprints of people who may be infected with coronavirus. They found a substitute in electronic shopping to keep safe.

Everything that enters our homes has become frightening. So, can we catch the virus through a pizza box, mail envelopes or a shipment of Eid clothes that we ordered online and get it delivered to our doorstep?

Experts say it is technically possible for a package or mail coming to your home to be contaminated with a virus caught somewhere by those who handled it.

The competent authorities in the Sultanate announced a few days ago confirmed cases of Covid-19  as a result of home delivery, which sparked concern among people who thought that not leaving home and choosing the delivery service in the circumstances imposed by the pandemic is 100 per cent safe.

Many research centers announced that it is possible for a person to become infected with Covid-19 by touching a surface or something that contains the virus, then touching his mouth or nose, or perhaps his eyes, while acknowledging the existence of some hypothetical risks of the virus staying alive on mail and goods for hours and maybe days.

So what should be done when dealing with delivery packages?

Fayza al Rashdi, a marketing official in one of the private companies, says, “Do not trust the advertisements of the shipping companies, as your safety is your own responsibility. Some companies advertise to keep their customers informed that delivery workers are taking all precautions and goods are sanitised all the time. But confidence may be impossible for delivery workers who continue to deliver orders in 8 to 12 business hours and are struggling to reach hand-washing facilities or supplies of tissues and masks.”

She added that all we have to do is wash our hands after touching them, use water and soap for washable things, and provide alcohol and disinfectants for what is not right to wash. “You can also dispose of the outer packaging of the product, and any other bags or even bill and throw it out of the house,” she explained.

She also said “Be careful when dealing with cash, wash your hands immediately after touching them. It is, however, preferable to pay by the card whenever possible.”

Al Rashdi mentioned that it is probably best to leave parcel and non-spoiling products, such as clothes and appliances, in a separate place for several days before using them. “To ensure perfect safety for your health, you should clean all the products you receive using alcohol wipes, or spray alcohol on them and leave it until it dries before usage.”

Al Rashidiya also said, “It is better that you stand at a sufficient distance while dealing with a delivery guy who has visited dozens of houses before you. Do not agree to touch a device or an electronic pen that many other people would have already dealt with or to receive the bill with a naked hand. “Your awareness when dealing with these surfaces is no less important – and perhaps more important – than the way you handle bags and cans.”