SEOUL, Feb. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — The coronavirus outbreak has resulted in worry among South Koreans purchasing goods directly from China over the risk of infection through delivered goods.
The Korea Customs Service reported that incoming products from China accounted for as much as 33 percent of the foreign direct purchase market, ranking second after the United States.
Affordable and functional Chinese electronic goods such as air purifiers and wireless earphones have been leading the growth of the Chinese presence in the foreign direct purchase market.
“If I had known that coronavirus would turn out to be a disaster, I wouldn’t have made the order,” said Kim Jin-seok, a foreign direct purchase customer who received Xiaomi wireless earphones from AliExpress, a Chinese online shopping mall, on Monday.
Discussions on the risk of delivered goods from China working as coronavirus agents are sweeping through online forums and communities. Some are also worried that domestic mail exchanged within the country can also pose a threat.
Expert argue, however, that the chance of getting infected from mail and parcels is minimal.
“From previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages,” said the World Health Organization (WHO) in its daily report on coronavirus released on Sunday.
“The infection is caused by the host’s droplets entering the respiratory system or the mucous membrane of another person,” said the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
“Even if the viruses came with the deliveries, they are not likely to survive the extensive period of shipping and transportation.”
“Viruses that exited the human body and were attached to the surface of an object all die off in 10 minutes,” said Prof. Jeon Byung-yul, a former director of the KCDC. “Infections through deliveries are not something to worry about.”
Ashley Song (firstname.lastname@example.org)