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Wuhan Authorities Find Covid-19 On Imported Frozen Food

Wuhan: Authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus is likely to have originated in December 2019, said that three imported frozen food packaging samples have tested positive for Covid-19.

The municipal health commission said on Saturday that two samples were taken from frozen beef from Brazil in a refrigerated warehouse and the other one from frozen basa fish from Vietnam in another warehouse, reports Xinhua new agency.

Local authorities have sealed the products, quarantined, and conducted nucleic acid tests on relevant personnel who came into direct contact with the food items.

So far, all results showed negative.

The shipments of frozen food from which the tainted samples were taken had not been released to the market.

Earlier, authorities in Wuhan, capital of central China’s Hubei Province, found that three frozen beef samples tested positive for the Covid-19 virus, local health authorities have said.

The batch of products dispersed in 1,006 boxes, weighing 27 tonne, were imported from Brazil to customs in the east Chinese city of Qingdao on August 7.

They arrived in a warehouse in Wuhan on August 17 and have not entered the market.

The local authorities have sealed the products, quarantined and conducted tests on relevant personnel and disinfected the area, reports Xinhua news agency.

Previously, Wuhan had ordered a thorough inspection of all the imported frozen food products across the city.

China is the world’s top beef buyer and Brazil and Argentina its largest suppliers.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the the risk of catching Covid-19 from frozen food is low.

China has, however, repeatedly sounded alarms after detecting the virus in imported food products and increased efforts to block Covid-19 transmission through imported foods.

The Ministry of Transport had released a guideline earlier this month to prevent the transmission of the virus through imported cold-chain foods in road and water transportation.

The State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against Covid-19 has also unveiled a plan to realize full-chain, closed-loop, traceable management of imported cold-chain foods.

(With IANS Inputs)

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