How safe is food delivery services?

Photo: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: Since movement control order (MCO) came into force on March 18, there has been an increasing trend of online purchasing as it is considered as the safest way to shop amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those working with online shopping platforms, be it as food riders or personal shoppers have now become ‘key workers’ during this period.

Due to the nature of their work that requires them to move from one place to another, failure to observe good personal hygiene may lead the workers may put them at greater risk of being infected.

It has also raised public concern over infections from packages that are shipped or delivered to them.

Following that, the government has made it mandatory for all food delivery riders from over 40 e-hailing companies nationwide to undergo Covid-19 screening to allow them operate as usual during Ramadan.

The decision has come a huge relief not only to customers but also the riders who have been worried about their health and safety as they are in constant contact with many people whenever they drop off deliveries.

A check by Bernama found that besides wearing face masks while on duty, most of the riders have also observed good personal hygiene practices including using hand sanitisers regularly.

FoodPanda delivery rider, Izz Farhan Nadzri, 24, said besides observing social distancing, he would always remain cautious and take all necessary measures to keep him safe.

“Don’t hesitate to use our service. Our employer has provided us with face masks, gloves and hand sanitisers

“We are also required to abide by the guidelines that have been set including adopting contact-free delivery practice and undergo health screening,” the public university student told Bernama.

Mohd Raimi Mustafa, 21, from Manjung, Perak, who has been a personal shopper since last month said he would undergo health screening at a nearby clinic in the near future to ensure that he is healthy.

Online food delivery application customer Huzairi Alias, 28, lauded the government’s decision to subject delivery riders to mandatory health screening describing it as a timely move.

“As a regular customer of such services, I don’t want to get infected by the virus…I also don’t want them (food delivery riders) to create a new cluster,” said Huzairi who hails from Kajang, Selangor.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at the daily Covid-19 press conference yesterday said so far, there had been no positive Covid-19 cases recorded among food delivery riders. He was also reportedly saying that there was no indication that the Covid-19 virus could be spread through food. – Bernama