According to the Global Times, China suspended the import of seafood from Indian companies after authorities detected the coronavirus on the outer packaging of some frozen cuttlefish samples.
The decision was taken by China’s General Administration of Customs amid concerns from Chinese people over a surge in imported infections and a winter ‘twindemic’ onslaught.
On November 2, the city of Wuhan in the central region of China confirmed 23 coronavirus cases imported from India-of which 4 were confirmed and 19 were asymptomatic patients-all of which were Indian nationals on the same flight from New Delhi to Wuhan .
A deadly virus was also found in the packaging of imported beef and pork recently. On Friday, Liangshan County in Shandong Province in eastern China reported that a batch of frozen beef imported from another Chinese city tested positive for COVID-19.
Bi Kexin, director of the Import and Export Security Bureau of the General Administration of Customs, said at a press conference that the control and management of resources will be strengthened. He said: “China Customs will further strengthen the inspection of cold chain imported food to prevent the risk of imported coronavirus infection.”
Bi said around “140 cold-chain food producers from 50 countries had been inspected and products of 22 companies have been dealt with regarding unqualified products”.
Over 25 coronavirus cases have been detected in imported food cold chains since July when the first case emerged from most major frozen food-exporting countries including Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil.
The Global Times reported that after COVID-19 was detected in imported cold chain products for two consecutive days, Tianjin, a city in Beijing and Hebei, closed the wholesale market.
“A Tianjin worker in the cold chain industry was confirmed to have contracted COVID-19 this week,” said the publication. “Two Chinese cities have been involved in Tianjin’s cases as some batches of frozen goods sold in these cities were delivered from Tianjin.”
Analysis of the strain indicated that the virus belongs to the European L genotype, similar to cases confirmed in Xinfadi Market in Beijing and Hebei Province from June to July.
On Thursday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui will face severe challenges this winter. He said that so far, China has recorded 3,600 imported cases, and this number is increasing rapidly since October.