Virus found on 2 Russian ships' imports

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/9/26 12:13:21

Photo: CFP

China Customs announced the suspension of imports from two Russian ships for four weeks, after East China’s Shandong Province announced that the novel coronavirus was found on the outer packaging and samples of aquatic products.

One of the two ships is a fishing vessel named VLADIMIR STARZHINSKY LLC ROLIZ and the other, ROLIZ CRYSTAL AFRICA, is a transport ship.

Shandong reported Thursday that two port workers in Qingdao, a coastal city in the province, tested positive for COVID-19 after handling the seafood. Authorities tested 1,440 samples from the products and the warehouse, of which 51 have tested positive, the Shandong health authority announced Friday.
The products have been sealed off, the authorities said. So far, more than 12,000 employees at the Qingdao port have received nucleic acid tests, but none tested positive.

Samples taken last week from packaging of squid imported from a Russian company tested positive for coronavirus in Changchun, Northeast China's Jilin Province, the local health authority reported.

Some experts believe the novel coronavirus can survive longer in lower temperatures. It has been found in cold-chain products and seafood imported from Ecuador, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and Norway, and their outer packaging in several Chinese cities, which has raised concerns over the risk of COVID-19 being spread in China through imported aquatic products.

Wang Peiyu, a deputy head of Peking University's School of Public Health, told the Global Times, so far, it is unnecessary to suspend all imports of cold chain products from abroad. However, the authorities should carefully inspect imported cold chain products.

“Authorities need to clamp down on imports from countries which have been frequently found with the novel coronavirus,” Wang noted.

Emergency preventive measures released by China Customs on September 11 say if the cold-chain food or packaging from an overseas manufacturer has been tested positive for COVID-19 three times or more, Customs should suspend the import declaration from the company for four weeks. A suspension of one week will be applied if it is tested positive for the first and second time.

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