An experimental study conducted in a laboratory evaluated the survival of the COVID-19 virus on different surfaces and reported that the virus can remain viable up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, up to four hours on copper, and up to 24 hours on cardboard.

To date, there are no data to suggest that contact with goods or products shipped from countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak have been the source of COVID-19 infection in humans.

See also: COVID-19: This is not a Drill!

In this respect, WHO will continue to monitor the evolution of the COVID-19 outbreak and will update recommendations as needed.

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The rationalized use and distribution of PPE when handling cargo from and to countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak includes the following recommendations:

  • Wearing a mask of any type is not recommended when handling cargo from an affected country.
  • Gloves are not required unless they are used for protection against mechanical hazards, such as when manipulating rough surfaces.
  • Importantly, the use of gloves does not replace the need for appropriate hand hygiene, which should be performed frequently, as described above.
  • When disinfecting supplies or pallets, no additional PPE is required beyond what is routinely recommended.
  • Hand hygiene should be practiced.