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Global Times

Beijing deliveryman who sends 50 orders per day confirmed with COVID-19

Global Times

By Liu Caiyu and Cao Siqi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/23 20:03:41

A deliveryman from China's leading food delivery platform ele.me in Beijing was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, the first case in the food delivery industry to have been confirmed in the capital, sparking widespread public concerns as residents rely heavily on delivery services for necessities amid the epidemic.

The patient delivered 50 orders a day on average in the past few weeks, according to Beijing health authorities at a press conference on Tuesday.

The platform said on Tuesday afternoon that the company had conducted nucleic acid tests on its entire delivery staff.

Deliverymen who have had close contact with the positive case have been suspended from receiving orders and are now in quarantine at designated isolation centers, the platform said.

According to Beijing health authorities, the 47-year-old deliveryman had been offering services across a wide area of Beijing between June 1 and June 17, involving the streets of Daxing, Fangshan, Dongcheng and Fengtai districts.

His recent activities involved several wet markets, restaurants, supermarkets and fruit stores. The deliveryman had been working long hours, usually from 7am to 9pm. The deliveryman worked until 10pm on the day before he was sent to a fever clinic.

This is the first deliveryman in Beijing to be confirmed with the virus. The city had been conducting nucleic acid tests on a total of 103,000 deliverymen from express companies and food delivery platforms.

Ordering food and other necessities online has been more common for Beijing residents amid the epidemic, and the case triggered widespread concerns.

Some netizens questioned whether the disinfection and nucleic acid tests on all dining halls, supermarkets and canteens, which were requested by the Beijing municipal government, have been carried out thoroughly and how the deliveryman became infected. "Was he connected to the Xinfadi market?" many asked.

"I knew this would happen. I live in a community heavily reliant on the Xinfadi market so I was fully aware of the risks. A confirmed case would come close to me one way or another," a Fangzhuang resident surnamed Liu told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Some people worry that an infected deliveryman may contaminate the food and transmit the virus.

There are no reports of coronavirus being spread via food. It may be contaminated but it will not transmit the virus, Li Fengqin, an expert from the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment said at the press conference on Tuesday.

Ele.me company also required all new registered deliverymen in Beijing to pass a nucleic acid test before they take orders online.



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