The year 2020 did not actually began well for some Nations of the world. For example, while Lassa Fever took on Nigeria, Coronavirus was the trauma in China, which according to official reports, has claimed 362 lives to date, a figure which is believed to be greatly underestimated by the Chinese authorities in order to prevent panic and hide the real scale of the problem.

But then, China is home to many electronics and gadgets manufacturers. Yes, the likes of Transion owned Tecno, Infinix and iTel Mobiles phones, Huawei, Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo, just to mention but few, all hail from China. Even some of your beloved Apple iPhones are made by Foxconn, still in China.

coronavirus and buying things from china
Image Source: TechRadar

China is also the home to popular online E-commerce stores like Aliexpress, Alibab, Lazada, Gearbest, Geekbuying etc. So now the question is; in the face of this Coronavirus, should you still buy electronics and gadgets from China? Could you possibly contact this deadly virus by simply shopping products from Chinese stores, or even by buying and owning made in China products?

Coronavirus: Should you still buy or shop products from China?

I will try to answer the above question based on what has been discovered and said about the Coronavirus so far. Firstly, how is this virus transmitted?

From this video by the World Health Organization (WHO), Coronaviruses are respiratory viruses similar to SARS and in general, are spread through close contact — a range of about 3 to 6 feet.

The virus is primarily spread through a sick person coughing or sneezing on someone, said Dr. Kathy Lofy, a health officer in Washington state.

Dr. Mark Denison, a virologist at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center said;

While we do not know all of the mechanisms of spread of the epidemic so far, there is likely spread by droplets and contaminated surfaces, and possible airborne [spread], similar to SARS

That means a person could also become infected through contact with the virus particles (droplet moist) on a surface. If an infected person sneezes or coughs onto a surface, such as a counter-top or doorknob, and another person touches that surface and then rubs his or her eyes or nose, for example, the latter may contact the virus.

Coronavirus: Should you still buy electronics from China? 1
Sorurce: The Hans India

So, can Coronavirus be spread through imported goods, especially electronic gadgets?

While there is still need for further researches, and more needs to be learned about this Novel Coronavirus, it is extremely unlikely for the virus to be spread through imported goods ESPECIALLY ELECTRONIC GOODS (more on this emphasis later).

Coronaviruses typically don’t live very long on surfaces, and are very unlikely to survive over a period of days or weeks when an item is being shipped. During a call with journalists as reported by NBCNews, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said;

There is no evidence to support transmission of 2019-nCoV associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of 2019-nCoV in the United States associated with imported goods.

This statement was also supported by an interview with a professor of epidemiology on National Geographic. Dr. Arnold Monto pointed out that viruses would rather be moist, and many fade from being infectious if left dry for too long. He further stated that;

To be sustained, to allow true aerosols, the virus has to be able to survive in that environment for the amount of time it’s exposed to drying,

Generally, electronic parts manufactured and assembled in dry and hot surroundings. So the chances of Coronavirus surviving such environment is unlike. Aside that, manufacturing companies across China are already applying all recommended health and hygiene practice in order to ensure the virus is contained. In a recent news, some online stores in the country are already employing the help of robot to carryout good deliveries.

Coronavirus: Should you still buy electronics from China? 2

Coronavirus importation best practices

Back to my emphatic statement earlier, this article been written primarily with electronic products like phones, tablets and their accessories in mind. The statement of Dr. Arnold Monto above is worth pondering upon that;

Viruses would rather be moist, and many fade from being infectious if left dry for too long.

I would generally not buy consumable or liquid related goods online this season. And for imported electronics, I would sterilize it (cleaning it thoroughly) with Ethanol or Alcohol before putting it to use. Health is Wealth right?

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