Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, local authorities in Chengdu proposed on March 3 for people to use gongkuai, a pair of serving chopsticks specifically used to choose food from communal dishes.
"To prevent the spread of coronavirus, we encourage people to use separate utensils to take food from communal dishes," reads the proposal by local authorities, including Chengdu Municipal Office of the Spiritual Civilization Development and Chengdu Municipal Health Commission.
Chinese often eat communally and share their dishes. The proposal to add separate chopsticks and tableware to serve when people dine together, made by five health organizations in Chengdu on March 3, said such a change to dining etiquettes allows diners to reduce the chances of transmission of many diseases.
According to World Health Organization, 60 percent of health problems are related to lifestyle and behaviors.
Although the novel coronavirus is also transmitted through contact and droplets, adding a pair of serving chopsticks and spoons can reduce the spread of viruses and harmful bacteria such as helicobacter pylori, which is commonly found in Chinese people's digestive tracts.
As a City of Gastronomy by UNESCO, Chengdu offers a greats diversity of delicious foods. Local authorities encourage residents and eateries to adopt a new dining style by promoting the use of separate utensils for serving and eating to reduce infections.