China intensifies control and disinfection of imported frozen products

Beijing, Nov 9 (efe-epa).- China’s National Health Commission published a new regulation Monday to intensify the control and disinfection of imported refrigerated products, since the country registered several cases in which the novel coronavirus survived in packaging and caused infections.

The new regulations emphasize a thorough disinfection of the packaging of refrigerated products and the adequate protection of personnel in contact with these materials, in addition to an increase in sanitary inspections of these throughout the entire chain, from their arrival at port until it is put on sale.

At the port itself, the document says, “if the result of an analysis (of an imported frozen product) is positive, it must be returned or destroyed, according to regulations.”

Authorities emphasize the need to record the path that each of these products follows to facilitate the tracking of possible infections.

The announcement comes a day after a new contagion was detected by the contact of a stevedore from the port of the northeastern city of Tianjin with packaging containing remains of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, according to local press.

Authorities of the town of Dezhou, in the eastern province of Shandong, claimed Saturday to have found traces of the virus during a random inspection of packages of frozen pork from Germany and that had arrived Oct. 19 at the port of Tianjin. The virus may have survived in the packaging for at least three weeks.

The towns of Taiyuan and Anguo – in the center and northeast of the country, respectively – received and put on sale some frozen products from the port of Tianjin, for which they have put in place emergency plans against possible infections.

On Sep. 24, two longshoremen in the eastern port of Qingdao contracted the virus by coming into contact with product packaging that contained traces of the virus. His infection resulted, weeks later, in a flare-up in the city.

In recent months, several frozen products from countries such as Ecuador or Brazil have put Chinese authorities on alert.

In August, the central province of Shanxi announced a ban on the purchase, sale and use of white shrimp (prawn) from Ecuador, after detecting several cases of coronavirus in its packaging.

Days earlier, the southeastern city of Shenzhen had detected traces of the virus in packages of frozen chicken wings from Brazil and, a month earlier, with seafood from Ecuador.

China continues with its strict control of entry and exit from the country, both for passengers and goods to keep the pandemic under control.

According to figures released today by the National Health Commission, the total number of active infected in mainland China is 424, of which eight are in serious condition.

Since the start of the pandemic, Chinese figures indicate that 4,634 people have died from the virus, among the 86,245 infected officially diagnosed in the country since the start of the pandemic and of whom 81,187 have recovered. EFE-EPA


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