Beijing, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- The authorities of the north-eastern Chinese city of Dalian have closed seafood markets and suspended some metro services after at least three cases of COVID-19 were detected, the official press reports today.
According to the state newspaper Global Times, the first of the infections, detected this Wednesday, is a 58-year-old employee who began to show symptoms on July 16, and who is said to be working in a seafood processing plant in the Dalian Kaiyang company.
A little more than three kilometers from this factory is the Liaoyu market, which has been closed and whose vendors – with around 1,000 stalls spread over 12,000 square meters – have all been tested for the coronavirus.
The first known worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, that of Wuhan, also began in late December at a fish and seafood market in the city, although it was later reported that not only were these products sold, but illegal exotic animals could also be consumed.
In addition, the Dalian Bay stop on line 3 of the local subway, which the man used daily to travel from home to work, was temporarily closed.
However, authorities have not yet confirmed whether the patient was infected through the products he handled in the cold chain.
The official Xinhua agency reported today two other new confirmed cases on Thursday, to which twelve asymptomatic patients are added – which China does not include in the balance of infections -, so an investigation has been launched into the close contacts of the first infected.
Dalian, located in Liaoning province, is a coastal city of about 6 million inhabitants whose economy is linked to fishing and seafood.
Dalian was precisely one of the two “safe” venues where, from this Saturday, the Chinese soccer Super League would resume, and the official press already reported “stricter measures” in this regard, despite the fact that all the players and technicians were to be kept during the weeks of competition under strict confinement.
Information indicates that in this city traces of coronaviruses were detected on July 3 on the interior wall of a container and in samples of frozen shrimp packaging that had been imported from Ecuador, after which the entry into the shrimp country from three Ecuadorian companies.
Speaking to Efe in the middle of this month, the Ecuadorian ambassador to China, Carlos Larrea, expressed his confidence that the problem would be solved “in the short term” and indicated that his country had promised to “make the corrections that China requires “To resume these imports, although he stressed that” Ecuadorian shrimp is free of COVID-19. ”
Chinese customs authorities are inspecting cold chain products imported from other countries to prevent the disease from spreading like this, although according to the World Health Organization (WHO) there is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread through food or its packaging.
“Coronaviruses cannot multiply in food, as they need an animal or human host to multiply and survive,” says the WHO.
In one of the last regrowths registered in the Asian country, that of Beijing – already apparently under control – coronaviruses were found in a table in which salmon was cut in a wholesale market.
After briefly banning its production, the Peking authorities acknowledged that there was no evidence that the salmon had been to blame for the regrowth and again allowed its sale. EFE-EPA