FedEx is taking measures to keep employees in China healthy in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“In areas where outbreaks have been reported, FedEx is supplying surgical masks, hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes to team members and vendors, and disinfecting facilities in areas where outbreaks have occurred,” the company said Tuesday. “We are also encouraging our team members to take any signs of illness seriously and seek medical attention as needed.”
China has seen more than 4,500 cases of the new coronavirus and 106 deaths because of it. The outbreak has been concentrated in the city of Wuhan. Five cases have been confirmed in the U.S.but no deaths as of Tuesday evening, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
FedEx has about 9,500 employees in China and operates 220 flights weekly out of five Chinese airports, including its hub in Guangzhou. It has adjusted its service in China after authorities Sunday announced the extension of the Lunar New Year Holiday to Feb. 2.
FedEx said it is following all regulations and guidelines from Chinese authorities on coronavirus containment, which “may affect shipments inbound and outbound to/from Wuhan as well as shipments moving within Wuhan.”
The CDC is recommending “travelers avoid all nonessential travel to China.”
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FedEx Express shipped Monday more than 200,000 surgical masks and protective equipment like gowns and gloves to China to help those responding to the outbreak.
FedEx sent the aid to its hub in Guangzhou, the Memphis logistics giant said. Once the shipments are cleared, the China Post postal service will then deliver the items from the Asia Pacific Hub to Wuhan Union Hospital “as quickly as possible,” it said.
“FedEx is proud to mobilize its global network to deliver aid, comfort and care to people suffering in the wake of this unprecedented health emergency,” said FedEx President and COO Raj Subramaniam in a statement. “We will continue to work closely with humanitarian and disaster relief organizations to provide support and deliver supplies, doing what we do best to help those who need it most.”
The transportation service assisted the nonprofit humanitarian organization Direct Relief’s efforts in China. The work is part of the “Delivering for Good” initiative under FedEx Cares, FedEx’s global charitable giving platform.
“Direct Relief is deeply thankful to FedEx for enabling this rapid response to fulfill a very specific order that the medical staff in Wuhan’s largest hospital selected from our current stockpile,” Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe said. “In rapidly unfolding situations such as this, it’s obviously important to move fast but with precision and proper coordination with all the relevant authorities – which FedEx’s extraordinary team has made possible.”
Max Garland covers FedEx, logistics and health care for The Commercial Appeal. Reach him at email@example.com or 901-529-2651 and on Twitter @MaxGarlandTypes.