COVID-19 has changed the ways of work and life. Initially, almost everything came to a standstill, and now things are slowly coming to track. However, the threat of coronavirus still hovers over everything, even in something as basic as letters.
Coronavirus has made the threat, scope, and possibility of bio-war very real. Traditional war weapons can be replaced with a microscopic virus, and countries and world leaders can be destroyed, just like that.
Although the coronavirus, as now known, is not a bio-weapon, there are good chances of it being used that way.
Interpol Warns Agencies Against COVID-Infected Letters
Interpol, on Friday, issued a warning to the law enforcement agencies worldwide to keep an eye on the spread of COVID-19 via inanimate objects, including letters.
People could deliberately spit, sneeze, or cough on letters in order to infect the recipient of the letter with COVID, thus posing a threat to their life. A few cases have been reported where the recipient was threatened that the letter is virus-laden.
It could not only prove harmful for politically significant figures and leaders but also for the vulnerable section of society. Apart from letters, other surfaces and objects can also be contaminated.
How To Control The Spread Of Virus Through Letters?
Although such cases pose limited risks, one must stay careful at all times. Coronavirus can live from anywhere between a few minutes to as long as five days on paper. Thus, letters should ideally be read after keeping them in quarantine for a couple of days.
Keeping a face mask and gloves on while handling a letter is a safe practice. Hands must be washed afterward. This especially holds for politicians and officials, who are at a greater risk of being contaminated by the virus through such deliberate practices.
Read More: After The COVID Vaccine, Will The World Go Back To How It Was In 2019
Other Possible Deliberate Attempts To Spread COVID-19
The rise in spit attacks has already been reported amidst the pandemic from different parts of the world.
Interpol, in its guidelines, has also mentioned that the “instances of individuals spitting and coughing in the faces of law enforcement officers, health practitioners, and essential workers to intimidate them. This could represent a risk if these individuals are infected with COVID-19.”
Apart from this, people could deliberately travel from a COVID hotspot to a non-affected area, despite knowing about the travel restrictions and government guidelines.
We all rely on masks, gloves, and other safety gear to protect ourselves from COVID. However, cases of counterfeit medical products, including sanitizers, facemasks, etc have been reported. Their motive is to maximize monetary profits.
There is a future risk associated with the sale of fake vaccines once the COVID vaccine comes into the market. People can sell fake and low-quality products, especially to the less-informed group.
Instances of individuals claiming to sell contaminated body fluids online have also been noted.
“High demand combined with a limited supply will make COVID-19 vaccines the equivalent of liquid gold to organized crime networks as soon as one is available,” noted Jürgen Stock, Interpol Secretary-General.
Thus, regulating the supply of legitimate vaccine and controlling illegal practices would be the toughest challenges shortly.
For our safety, it is crucial to follow the WHO (World Health Organisation) and government guidelines, practice social distancing, and stay away from fake news to the best of our ability.
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