Chinese city launches massive tests after positives in supermarket

Beijing, Aug 15 (efe-epa).- The southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, in the province of Canton, has launched a massive nucleic acid test campaign after at least three employees of a supermarket chain tested positive for coronavirus local press reported Saturday.

Pro-government tabloid Global Times said one of the employees of the Fresh Hema chain, belonging to the Alibaba Group, tested positive for COVID-19, and by tracing his close contacts it was found that two co-workers and three family members had also contracted it.

Consequently, the chain has closed its 21 stores in the city, and will test all its products and employees, while local authorities will test all those who have purchased at the establishment since Jul. 24.

In addition, residents who live in areas where positive cases have been confirmed should also take the test and remain in quarantine, authorities said.

On Friday, samples from a batch of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for nucleic acid.

The local Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported that the virus was found on “the surface” of a sample of that product, while the Shenzhen City Council indicated that the wings were from the company Aurora, the third-largest processor of chicken and pork meat in Brazil.

On Thursday, a routine inspection in a restaurant in the eastern city of Wuhu had detected the virus in the outer packaging of white shrimp from Ecuador, which had already happened on Jul. 10 with the packaging of this seafood from three Ecuadorian companies: Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila, Empacreci and Edpacif.

And on Wednesday, samples of frozen fish wrap in a port city in Shandong province, also in the east of the country, had also tested positive, although in this case the country of origin was not indicated.

Chinese media has shown concern about the severity of the pandemic in Latin America, with more than 5.6 million confirmed cases, as well as in Brazil and Ecuador and the risk that the packaging, more than the product itself, can pass the virus on to consumers.

Experts said the coronavirus can survive up to three months at very low temperatures and, although there is no evidence of food transmission so far, this news is of great concern in a country that imports frozen foods from 105 nations. EFE-EPA


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