According to Experts, it is safe to use China-made goods on Holi festival

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Experts disprove the misleading claim that China-made Holi festival goods are contaminated and infected with the coronavirus.

A claim that Chinese imported goods and other supplies for the Holi festival in India should be avoided as they are infected with the novel coronavirus has been shared multiple times on Facebook and WhatsApp.  There were several posts and messages that claim this and were published on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms in India.

This is one of the posts on February 16, 2020, along with a photo of a copy of this Ministry of Health advisory on preventing novel coronavirus.

The caption of the post is written in Hindi-language which translates to English as: “The Holi festival in India will be celebrated on March 10, where Chinese made items like colors, toy guns and face masks are used a lot. Today, thousands of Chinese are affected by Coronavirus and only a couple of cases were found in India. So, please refuse and boycott these Chinese products to protect your family and children. Also, inform local dealers to avoid buying these products from China.”

But according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO), the claim is false and misleading. WHO told that the virus does not last long on non-living surfaces, so it is unlikely imported goods would remain contagious. The Toy Association of India also states that the virus would not survive on a shipment of Holi festival objects as the journey from China generally takes at least two weeks. 

source: WHO

WHO’s representative for India Surpiya Bezbaruah, told that “Research as far as we know seems to indicate that the virus does not survive for very long on objects. For toys, the risk is only if the toy is contaminated with the virus and for the toy to be contaminated there are special conditions. So it is very unlikely that a toy will be contaminated with the virus simply because it was manufactured in China.”

The WHO also issued a related advisory on its official website that says it is “safe” to import goods from China.  The statement reads that “People receiving packages from China are not at risk of contracting the new coronavirus. From the previous analysis, we know coronaviruses do not survive long on objects, such as letters or packages.” From the first week of January, many factories in China were shut due to the concern of coronavirus. According to the Vice President of the Association, Vipin Nijhawan- “The last shipment from China came to India was on January 15.”
Though it is safe to use China-made products on the Holi festival in India, you should remember that experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus.

Also, Prime Minister Modi on Wednesday, announced that he will not participate in any Holi events this year. “Experts across the world have advised to reduce mass gatherings to avoid the spread of COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. Hence, this year I have decided not to participate in any Holi Milan programme,” he wrote.

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