Pudong airport cargo operations not affected by COVID-19 cases

By GT staff reporters Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/23 21:09:51

Photo: Xinhua


Despite new confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to cargo operations at the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, there has been no impact on operations - even as testing has been conducted on workers and a top medical expert on Monday called for the outer packaging of cargo to be disinfected.

Two cargo businesses located in the Pudong airport reached by the Global Times said the recent confirmed COVID-19 cases had no impact on their cargo business so far. "Our whole business is running at a normal pace," a staff member in a logistics department of Chinese Eastern Airlines told the Global Times on Monday, speaking anonymously.  

All the tests for COVID-19 were conducted overnight on Sunday, aiming to reduce the potential impact as much as possible, another staff member from the company said on Monday.

Zhang Boli, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Engineering, told the Global Times on Monday that he suggested the outer packaging of cargo should be disinfected when received from overseas regions with high coronavirus risks. If the packages in question are not for emergency use, people should open them one or two days later, after leaving them exposed outdoors.

At least eight new confirmed local COVID-19 cases all related to cargo operations in Shanghai Pudong International Airport during the past two weeks were reported, making freight coming into the city and its COVID-19 prevention measures the main focus for the public, as Shanghai plays an important role in international freight transportation.

Unlike imported cold-chain goods that have been thought to be possibly contaminated by the coronavirus, the local cases reported on November 9-10 were porters who hadn't been in contact with any COVID-19 cases or cold-chain goods 14 days before they showed any symptoms. 

Pudong airport also tested all its staffs overnight on Sunday to screen for any possible cases. As the second-largest airport in China, Pudong international plays an important role in cargo transportation, with its cargo throughput capacity reaching 3.6 million tons in 2019, albeit down 3.6 percent year-on-year.

Despite the impact of COVID-19, more than 11,800 cargo flights took off and landed at Pudong International Airport between July 1 and August 31, double that from the same period in 2019 and reaching a record high, according to the Shanghai Airport Immigration Inspection Station in September.

The import and export value of Shanghai Port in 2018 reached $1.3 trillion, accounting for 28 percent of the country's total.

Shanghai Pudong airport will conduct regular nucleic acid tests for freight staff and arrange COVID-19 vaccines for those in high-risk positions, the city's authorities announced on Monday.


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