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Beijing's delivery workers get tested to help ensure safe service in capital

Du Juan
Updated: Jun 22,2020 07:33 AM    China Daily

More than 100,000 delivery workers in Beijing are to have received nucleic acid tests by June 22 in order to provide safe service for residents amid the city's recent COVID-19 outbreak, right after the e-commerce midyear promotion ended, ushering in a busy period for logistics companies.

Starting from the evening of June 19, 17 postal service and logistics companies in Beijing have organized for about 103,000 delivery workers to receive nucleic acid testing, the State Post Bureau said on June 20.

The major online catering platforms also announced plans to get their takeout delivery workers tested.

"Everyone has a responsibility to cooperate and contribute to Beijing's epidemic control and prevention," Wang Hailong, a deliveryman from YTO Express Co, was quoted as saying by China Central Television.

Wang went to a designated testing area in the capital's Shunyi district at 5 pm on June 19 after he delivered more than 200 packages during the day.

"The test is not just for our own health, but also for the safety of residents in the city," he said. "Under the strict and full protective measures, we will work hard to ensure dependable delivery service for the capital. Compared with doctors and nurses on the front line and social workers in all communities, we are just doing what we should do."

China's e-commerce companies held an annual midyear promotion from June 1 to 18. Many logistics companies now face delivering a massive number of packages.

From June 11 to 20, logistics companies in Beijing collected 68 million packages, up 22.86 percent year-on-year, and delivered 82 million packages, up 25.57 percent year-on-year, according to a report in Beijing Daily.

The State Post Bureau said due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak in the capital, some packages might take longer to arrive.

Logistics companies have taken strict measures, such as temperature monitoring of their staff and regular disinfection, to reduce risks related to the outbreak.

Zhao Xiaomin, a logistics industry expert, suggested that the companies set up emergency response teams to cope with similar incidents in the future, according to a China National Radio report.

So far, no COVID-19 case has been reported in the postal and logistics industry in the city.

Beijing has been increasing its testing capacity since the epidemic started in January.

Gao Xiaojun, a spokesman for the Beijing Health Commission, said 61 hospitals and medical institutions in the city were able to conduct a total of 47,000 daily tests by late April.

By June 20, up to 124 hospitals and medical institutions in Beijing were able to conduct more than 230,000 tests a day.

Beijing reported 22 new local COVID-19 patients on Saturday, bringing the total of confirmed patients to 227 since the first new local case was reported on June 11.

The youngest of the new patients is 1 year old, and the oldest is 86. The average age is 42, Pang Xinghuo, deputy head of the Beijing Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said on June 21.

All the cases are related to the Xinfadi wholesale market in southwest Beijing's Fengtai district.

Eight of the 22 new cases on June 20 are employees of soft-drink and snack-food giant PepsiCo Inc's factory in the capital's Daxing district.

Two of its employees had been to the Xinfadi market, according to the company.

The factory has suspended production, all of its employees have had nucleic acid tests and 480 of them were sent to designated sites for isolated medical observation on June 20.