Health

China suspends imports of frozen products from Argentinian, Brazilian firms

Beijing, Dec 11 (efe-epa).- China on Friday announced the temporary suspension of frozen goods imports from one Argentinian and two Brazilian companies after claiming it has detected traces of Covid-19 on packaging from the countries.

The General Administration of Customs said Friday that it will suspend imports from the Brazilian companies Naturafrig Alimentos and Plena Alimentos, and the Argentinian firm Frigorífico Alberdi for a week after finding traces of the virus on the packaging of frozen boneless beef.

In recent months, China claims to have detected traces of the coronavirus on packages of cold-chain goods, which has led Beijing to tighten regulations for imported frozen products.

The shipments that have most tested positive, mainly on their packaging, have been shrimp, fish, beef and pork.

On Nov. 1, authorities announced that they had detected the virus on the packaging of a batch of frozen pork in the eastern province of Shandong.

Furthermore, on Aug. 13, virus remains were also found on the surface of a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil in Shenzhen, in the southern province of Guangzhou.

The country’s authorities point to imported frozen foods, especially meat and fish, as the main route of outbreaks of the virus in China, after local infections had been practically controlled in the country.

However, the World Health Organization says there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be contracted from food or food packaging.

The National Health Commission of China reported 15 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, including six local infections.

These six locally transmitted cases included infections of the small outbreak in the central province of Sichuan – where four cases were detected – as well as another two in the northeastern Heilongjiang.

Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan, ordered mass coronavirus testing in a district on Dec. 8 after detecting seven local cases – one of them asymptomatic – the origin of which is still unknown.

The total number of active cases in mainland China now stands at 292, of which five are serious. EFE-EPA

jco/pd/tw

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