Coronavirus-contaminated milk jujubes flown to 25 provinces ‘unlikely to be infectious’
Published: Jan 30, 2021 05:24 PM Updated: Feb 01, 2021 10:36 PM

Milk jujube Photo: VCG

Batches of milk jujubes produced in Shandong Province that tested positive for coronavirus have entered markets in 25 provinces via online platforms, but the risk of infection is very low, health authorities said on Monday at a press briefing. 

The products were made in Zaozhuang, a city in East China’s Shandong Province, and have been sold via Pinduoduo and Alibaba to 321 cities and counties in 25 provinces. The unsold ones have been properly disposed of, said Liu Jizhong, deputy mayor of Zaozhuang. 

Local authorities issued emergency notices to the 25 provinces after the coronavirus was found in the batches, and negative testing results have been returned so far.

A total of 148 close contacts were detected and received nucleic acid tests, which all had negative results, and there have been no positive results among the 1,140 villagers living in the county where the production company is located. 

At the press briefing on Monday, Lei Jie, an expert at the Shandong Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that the virus found in the milk jujube products is “unlikely to be alive, and the risk of infection is extremely low.” The whey powder used in the batches, which tested positive for COVID-19, was imported from Ukraine through Tianjin port on January 5.

Staff working at the factory received COVID-19 screening immediately after the incident, and all had negative results. By now, the incubation period of the virus has passed, suggesting that personnel at the highest risk of infection are safe, Lei explained.

The viral load in the products is very low, Lei said, and no positive cases have been reported so far. 

Global Times