Did a 20 year-old man in Pahang die from COVID-19 after getting it from a courier package?
Find out what’s this new viral story (pun intended!) and what the FACTS really are!
Claim : Man Gets COVID-19 From Package, And Dies!
There are two messages that have gone viral in the last few days on social media, about a young man who died from COVID-19, after getting it from a contaminated courier package!
No! He Did NOT Get COVID-19 From Contaminated Package!
Like 95% of what you read on social media, this is yet another piece of fake news. Here are the FACTS…
Fact #1 : No 20 Year-Old Man Was Brought In Dead In Pahang
We have a running list of all COVID-19 deaths in Malaysia, and only two 20 year-old males died in Malaysia :
- Case 252679 : 20 year-old Malaysian male, who passed away at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor.
- Death #2417 : 20 year-old Malaysian male from KL, who passed away at the Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor.
As you can see, neither died in Pahang, and they both died in a hospital. Neither were brought in dead to the hospital.
Fact #2 : Pahang Health Department Called It Fake News
On 30 May 2021, the Pahang State Department denied that a 20 year-old man from Taman Tan passed away from COVID-19.
The Pahang State Health director, Datuk Dr. Bahari Che Awang Ngah said that only 58 people died in Pahang, and the youngest was a 23 year-old man.
He also said that the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital did not receive any BID (Brought In Dead) cases involving individuals in their 20s.
Fact #3 : Fomite Transmission Is Rare
Early studies show that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 can persist on surfaces for a long time.
However, later quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) studies show that the risk of getting infected through contact with contaminated surfaces / objects (fomites) is low.
How low? Generally, less than 1 in 10,000 contacts with a contaminated surface will result in a COVID-19 infection.
While not impossible, it is much harder to get infected from touching contaminated surfaces or objects, because you have to then touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands to get infected.
That is likely why there have been no COVID-19 clusters attributed to any package / parcel delivered by couriers or mail services.
Fact #4 : COVID-19 Primarily Spreads Through People
The SARS-CoV-2 virus primarily spreads through droplets, as well as through aerosol, from infected people. It does not spread by touch.
Hence, the best policy for courier or mail services is to insist that EVERYONE must wear a face mask.
This prevents direct transmission by droplets, and greatly cuts down on aerosols. And best of all – it prevents the parcels and packages from being contaminated!
If everyone wears a face mask, fomites – contaminated surfaces or objects – will be virtually non-existent.
Fact #5 : COVID-19 Is Easily Destroyed By Soap!
While Dettol can kill the SARS-CoV-2 virus, there is no need to go to such extremes. Simple soap and water will destroy the virus!
If you are super worried about getting COVID-19 from your package, just wiped it down (if it’s wrapped in plastic) with soapy water, or alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
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Fact #6 : You Can’t Get Contaminated If You Sanitise Your Hands!
Instead of worrying so much about getting your hands contaminated with COVID-19, just sanitise them!
You can’t get COVID-19 from contaminated surfaces if you keep your hands clean!
This isn’t just my advice, this is what the US CDC recommends too!
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