Photo: Haiqing Zhong (iStock)

Coronavirus, as we all know, is unfold by human contact. The finest option to keep away from getting it, particularly in closely contaminated locations like China, is to quarantine your self inside your home. But the issue with by no means going out is that you just’ll finally run out of food, and which means you’ll should order extra, which requires somebody to convey it to you, which implies human contact with the surface world. In our trendy world, a full quarantine is virtually unimaginable.

Meituan, the main Chinese food delivery firm (it really works with 5.9 million retailers and employs 700,000 couriers), has seen an infinite uptick in food delivery, not only for meals, however for groceries as effectively. Many of these meal orders have been sufficient food to feed a number of folks, a rarity in China the place food delivery is normally reserved for folks consuming alone. In late January, Meituan started piloting a contactless delivery service in Wuhan, the southern metropolis the place the coronavirus first appeared.

In a contactless delivery, the client and courier agree on a location for the courier to depart the food. After dropoff, the courier calls or texts the client to allow them to realize it’s there. Meituan additionally offers playing cards with the temperatures of everybody who was concerned in making ready and delivering the food and a reassurance that every one the gear, together with the courier’s bike, has been disinfected. The couriers have additionally been instructed to put on gloves and hold a secure distance from different folks on the street.

Within every week, Meituan had rolled out contactless delivery all through your entire nation and different companies, together with Pizza Hut and KFC, had begun providing their very own as effectively. During its first two weeks, January 26 to February 8, a Meituan spokesperson advised Business Insider, 80% of shoppers. requested the contactless service. In Wuhan, that share rose to 95.1%. The spokesman famous that 10% of orders come from completely different cities than the place the delivery will likely be made, which signifies that individuals are sending food to household and pals in additional contaminated areas.

The improve in orders has led to a scarcity of couriers. Meituan has borrowed couriers from different eating places and has additionally tried experimenting with unmanned (and disinfected) delivery autos, Quartz reviews. Quartz requested GrubHub and Ubereats in the event that they had been taking notes, however each companies had been noncommittal. If it occurs, GrubHub CEO Matt Maloney stated, his firm will likely be “all over it.”

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