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The new corona virus (COVID-19) and the unloading of containers.

“We unload many containers coming from China, can our unloading teams become infected with the corona virus? “Does EWS has a possibilities to disinfect the containers?’’ These are some of the questions we have been asked frequently in recent weeks.

To offer a possible solution, we first need to understand what exactly the dangers of the new corona virus are, and is there any possibility of disinfecting which makes sense? Let’s start with the following question: ” What does Corona virus exactly mean?”

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that cause infection in humans and various animals, including birds and mammals such as camels, cats, and bats. Some animal coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning that they can be transmitted between animals and humans. So far, it has been shown that seven coronaviruses can also cause infection in humans. When animal coronaviruses evolve, infect humans and spread further between humans, it can lead to outbreaks such as MERS-CoV and SARS. Or in this case the new corona virus COVID-19.

Now that we know what a corona virus is, the question arises; what is the chance when you unload containers from China that you will be infected with the new corona virus? To answer this question we have contacted the “Institute of Tropical Medicine” in Antwerp. The response from the medical staff was formal. ” Apart from humans or animals, viruses only survive a few hours at most. So there is no risk of contamination with containers arriving from China. ”

Coronaviruses spread through humans and animals. They cannot survive well outside the body, certainly not on cardboard, packaging material or other items. Other coronaviruses do not spread in this way and there is no reason to assume that this is different for the new coronavirus.

This also answers our last question. Namely that there is no need for disinfection. With this being said, we can conclude that containers from China do not pose a danger with regard to the new corona virus. The containers can be safely unloaded without any precautions. Of course provided that the container is gas and pest free!

EWS your partner in safety.