TV doctor warns of Covid-19 packaging risk

Visualisation of the Covid-19 virus

GOOD Morning Britain’s Dr Sarah Jarvis has claimed that there is a risk of Covid-19 being transmitted via packaging.

The comments came after the doctor was asked on the ITV programme about an outbreak at a factory which produces sandwiches for Marks and Spencer and whether or not the virus can survive on packaging surfaces.

She said, “Theoretically, even if something is cooked, if the packaging is made up – we know, for instance, in New Zealand they think that the latest outbreak have come through packaging rather than people. Yes there is a risk.

“But it does remind us the virus can survive, I think, for 24 hours on cardboard and up to three days on hard metal and hard plastic.

“So we do know that there are risks, we have seen quite a lot of outbreaks in meat processing factories and other various food processing areas.”

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that consumers should not fear packaging. 

Head of emergencies programme, Mike Ryan, said, “There is no evidence that food or the food chain is participating in transmission of this virus. And people should feel comfortable and safe.”

WHO epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove added that China has tested ‘hundreds of thousands’ of packages and found less than 10 examples of materials carrying the virus.