Residents in Hubei fined for buying imported pork that later tested positive for COVID-19

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/11 10:20:33

Pork Photo: VCG

24 households in Huanggang city, Central China’s Hubei Province, were fined after the pork they purchased from an online platform tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement released by the local authority on Thursday. 

According to the statement, the pork that tested positive was imported from Brazil, and all 24 households who had purchased the same batch of pork were each fined 200 yuan ($30.5), and required to stay in their homes for quarantine purposes. 

Meituan, the online platform from which the pork was bought, is now being investigated by the local police department. 

The positive test result was reported earlier on Tuesday to the health authorities in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, and a total of 86 samples from people and 122 samples from the environment were collected and tested within 48 hours. The environment has also been thoroughly disinfected, according to the statement. 

Due to the high risk of contagions from imported cold-chain products, local authorities in Huangzhou district of Huanggang city — where the residents live — have banned all purchases, storage and sales of imported cold-chain products. 

Zhu Danpeng, a veteran of the food industry, told the Global Times that cold-chain imports may pose the greatest risk for additional COVID-19 outbreaks this winter.

“Although China has effectively contained the spread of the virus, imported food products can be a weak point on the link,” Zhu said, adding that “it is vital to reduce imports, but, more importantly, stricter measures will have to be implemented on thorough sampling and inspections.”

Across the country, stricter measures regulating imported cold-chain products are now being implemented after successive reports of imported cold-chain food samples testing positive for COVID-19 in the past few months, with experts noting that such cases could pose a risk of another outbreak in China this winter. 

The city of Hefei, the capital of East China’s Anhui Province, became the first city to require identification information from buyers of imported cold-chain products. A number of cities including Beijing and Tianjin also launched new rules to regulate cold-chain food markets.

More than 40 such cases have been reported in at least 16 provinces and regions, leading to infections in North China's Tianjin and East China's Qingdao. 

Global Times 


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