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Global Times

No delivery staff contract COVID-19 on the job: official

Global Times

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/21 20:47:43

Of the 4 million delivery workers in China, only 58 have been infected with COVID-19, but none contracted the disease on the job, an official said on Monday.

According to Ma Junsheng, director general of the State Post Bureau, no delivery employee was infected on the job because "good precautionary measures were taken," even though each employee was exposed to around 100 people per day.

China's delivery system played a vital role in transporting medical supplies during the coronavirus outbreak. According to Ma, from January 23 to June 10, a total of 489,800 tons of medical supplies were shipped. Almost 800 logistics flights were sent to Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, after all passenger flights were halted.

"There was a shift of the business model of delivery companies during the pandemic," He Hui, director of the China Logistics Information Center, said.

"Many smaller companies suspended operations because of disrupted transportation, but increasing orders from e-commerce, including shopping and takeaway platforms, enabled the businesses to rebound."

COVID-19 risks in the delivery sector have been in the spotlight, as the industry is highly labor-intensive and involves constant human interaction. The first delivery worker to test positive for COVID-19 was in late June, when a deliveryman from China's leading food delivery platform was confirmed to be infected in Beijing, sparking concerns. The takeaway platform later said that the company had conducted nucleic acid tests on its entire delivery staff, and had insisted on no-contact deliveries since.

The delivery sector this year has performed "better than expected" despite the impact of COVID-19, Ma said. The total revenue between January and August almost reached 680 billion yuan ($136.33 billion). About 4.8 billion parcels were sent, up 25 percent year-on-year.

Around 60 billion parcels are expected to be sent in October, and the figure will reach 70 billion in November, Ma said.

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