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Coupang closes Bucheon logistics center over COVID-19 cases


E-commerce platform giant Coupang said Tuesday it has closed its Bucheon logistics center in Gyeonggi Province and conducted disinfection of the facility after at least 10 COVID-19 cases are confirmed to be linked with its employees there.

According to the company, it will take additional fumigation measures at the center and also check on around 3,700 employees, which includes workers at the center and also those who visited the center from May 12 to Monday.
“We sterilize the products ordered one more time before we send them for delivery, so it is safe. We will take all possible measures to guarantee safety, so that not one customer will feel discomfort (in making orders),” Coupang said.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, 10 COVID-19 patients were confirmed to be related to Coupang’s Bucheon distribution center, including eight employees. Three employees were diagnosed before Tuesday.

Amid rising concerns, government authorities said it is highly unlikely for the epidemic to be passed on via delivery.

“There has not been a case in the world where COVID-19 was spread from delivery,” Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Deputy Director Kwon Jun-wook said in the briefing.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, the e-commerce platform, which handles a wide range of goods including fresh food, has seen its sales jump.

According to Wiseapp, a market analysis app, Coupang recorded the biggest online shopping transactions in the first quarter -- 1.44 trillion won ($1.16 billion) in January, 1.63 trillion won in February and 1.77 trillion won in March -- ahead of other retail giants.

By Jo He-rim (