Health authorities in China’s Qingdao city have found coronavirus contamination on some packages stored by a seafood importer, Reuters reported on Friday. The discovery was made after two of the importer’s handlers tested positive for the contagion.
The Qingdao Municipal Health Commission said in a statement that the discovery was made on Thursday, though none of the 147 contacts of the two infected employees tested positive. The importer’s products and facilities generated 51 positive test results, but no contaminated products entered the Chinese market, the commission added.
Chinese customs officials have threatened a week’s suspension of imports from companies whose frozen food products test positive for the virus. The suspension will be extended to four weeks for third-time offenders.
In August, two Chinese cities flagged traces of the coronavirus in imported frozen food. A sample from frozen chicken wings that were imported from Brazil tested positive in south China’s Shenzhen city. In another case, samples of external packaging of frozen Ecuadorian shrimp being sold in the city of Xian also tested positive for the virus.
However, the World Health Organization has dismissed the possibility of the virus making an entry into the food chain.
In July, China had decided to stop imports from three Ecuadorian shrimp producers after inspections showed contamination in shipments, reported Xinhua. However, the ban was temporary. China had then intensified its testing on imported food items in the cold chain.
Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 3.22 crore people and killed 9,83,751, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of worldwide recoveries is more than 2.22 crore.