The deadly COVID-19 Wuhan coronavirus has afflicted tens of thousands of people, caused severe travel advisories and even led Mobile World Congress organizers to cancel the world's largest phone show.
COVID-19's impact is sharking up the technology market in particular, as many components are manufactured and shipped from China where the coronavirus originated. You might be wondering with all the products sent directly from China if the coronavirus can spread through packages.
Though Reddit users' concerns (opens in new tab) suggest otherwise, both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization have stated there's no evidence that the spread of coronavirus is associated with imported goods.
The CDC's COVIS-19 FAQ page (opens in new tab) cites understanding of the SARS and MERS viruses as guidance: “There is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures."
"People receiving packages are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus," the WHO (opens in new tab) wrote. "From experience with other coronaviruses, we know that these types of viruses don’t survive long on objects, such as letters or packages."
In wake of overseas buyers rejecting packages shipped from China, China Postal Tracking (opens in new tab) published a explainer about its shipments. "The transmission of novel coronavirus requires such media as droplet, fecal-oral and contact," it wrote. "Even if your overseas package is sent by an infected person, the package itself is not a transmission medium."
So if you stumbled on some great tech deals and are still questioning whether it's safe to order products from China, know that there's no coronavirus-related reason to hold off on shopping.