China again finds coronavirus in fish from Ecuador, pork from Brazil

Beijing, Nov 1 (efe-epa).- China again detected coronavirus in the packaging of frozen fish from Ecuador and frozen pork imported from Brazil, local media reported Sunday.

Chinese authorities suspended imports from the Ecuadorian company Firexpa, after traces of COVID-19 were found in the packages of a batch of frozen fish, the General Administration of Customs said.

The suspension will take effect for one week, according to a statement by the agency published on its website late Saturday.

After the detection of several cases in China in recent months, especially in frozen foods from Latin America, the Asian country has indicated that it will suspend imports for a week of those products that test positive for coronavirus and for a month if it is the third time or more that this has happened.

The packaging of a batch of frozen pork imported from Brazil has also returned positive in a COVID-19 test conducted on Thursday in the city of Yantai, in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong, the official Global Times newspaper reported.

The batch was found in a barbecue restaurant and a fish market in Yantai.

The local coronavirus prevention and control center said city residents who have visited both places should inform their residential communities and closely monitor their health conditions.

The health department will trace all close contacts linked to the Brazilian pork products, which were not reported by the supplier company, and will test them for COVID-19 at designated hospitals.

A total of 1,475 packages of pork, weighing 27 tonnes have already been traced since Thursday, according to the official newspaper, which adds that 3,097 samples collected from close contacts, products, packaging and nearby environments have tested negative for the virus.

On July 10, traces of coronavirus were discovered in the outer packaging of Ecuadorian white shrimp from three companies: Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila, Empacreci and Edpacif.

China temporarily suspended imports from the three companies and ordered the withdrawal of all such packages that had arrived in the country since March 12.

Subsequently, the companies were authorized to resume exports to China after improving their control protocols.

Ecuador alleges that since the traces of the virus have been found on the outer packaging or on container walls, the infection can have any origin, and not specifically be related to the handling of the product in Ecuadorian industries.

Even so, and in order to continue exporting to China and other markets, the country’s Ministry of Production has intensified surveillance measures in all fishing and packaging processes.

On Aug. 13, traces of coronavirus were also found on the surface of a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangzhou. EFE-EPA


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