February 13, 2020 / 3:33 PM / 5 days ago

Say it with sanitiser: Beijing florist takes on coronavirus for Valentine's Day

BEIJING (Reuters) - It’s the eve of Valentine’s Day and flower seller Cai Xiaoman is enclosing a special gift - a small bottle of hand sanitiser to ward off coronavirus - as she sends out her last few bouquets to customers in Beijing.

It has been a tough month for her. Sales are down 90% in the midst of an outbreak that has so far killed nearly 1,400 people in China. People are staying at home, leaving shopping malls empty.

Wearing a face mask, Cai carefully sprays her hands with alcohol and puts on a pair of gloves before packaging her flowers. She then puts hand sanitiser into the bouquets she creates.

She says she was inspired by a customer who asked her to sanitise a bouquet before she delivered it. She is now giving sanitiser to other customers as a personal gesture.

“I think this is very heart-warming, and I want my customers to feel comfortable,” she says. “Because now the outbreak is severe, and everyone is scared. I hope this will end soon.”

Editing by Giles Elgood

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