Stay home, stay well: Get things delivered safely | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 05, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 AM, April 05, 2020

Stay home, stay well: Get things delivered safely

 Since the country went into shutdown, people have had to adapt themselves to spending days cooped up in their homes.

Adjusting to this temporary way of life has meant having to give up almost all everyday activities, such as going to office, school, meeting friends, or going shopping -- even for groceries.

In recent years in Bangladesh, online shopping has gained popularity among the younger generation.

During the countrywide shutdown, many people in Dhaka city are now having to rely on online deliveries for their groceries, household essentials and restaurant foods.

But with the fast spread of Covid-19, people have questioned whether it is safe to receive packages at your home.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that the "likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low".

Kaoser Alam, medical officer and resident cardiologist of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, told The Daily Star that, "If you are concerned about contaminated or unclean surfaces, you could open your delivery packages outside. You should then dispose of the packaging as quickly as possible."

He said it is safe to receive parcels if it is properly handled, which means the delivery people and those who are involved with the process are not infected with coronavirus.

 "However, if community transmission begins, then it is better to avoid [receiving parcels], because 80 percent of [infected] people might only have mild or moderate symptoms or no symptoms at all," he suggested.

He said that currently there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted through food or food packaging, though the virus is known to live on surfaces for up to several days.

"The potential problem is transmitting the coronavirus from delivery person to customer, or vice versa," he said.

He suggested that people can ask the online deliverymen to drop off the parcel at the door or on the ground floor of the respective building, from where the buyer will collect the parcel.

Kaoser also suggested that, for better safety, one can wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching their own or anyone else's face after bringing the parcel home.

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