Three persons in charge of cargo handling company in port city Dalian sentenced to up to 57 months in jail
Published: Jan 11, 2022 08:20 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

Three persons in charge of a cargo handling company in port city Dalian, Northeast China's Liaoning Province, whose violations of epidemic prevention led to the spreading of COVID-19 from cold-chain goods to society in 2020, were given prison sentences varying from 39 to 57 months last Friday. 

The three defendants, two surnamed Fu and one surnamed Zhang, from the company which is mainly engaged in the businesses of port cargo handling and human resource services were sentenced to jail for the crime of violating the rules of prevention and treatment of infectious disease. Their company was fined 800,000 yuan ($125,478). 

Since four people hired by the company were identified as asymptomatic infections on December 5, 2020, a total of 83 confirmed and asymptomatic infections were reported in the flare-up caused by the company's irregular operations in cargo handling. 

In mid-November 2020, a foreign cargo ship carrying imported cold-chain goods docked at Dalian port. 

Between December 1 and 12, 2020, the defendant surnamed Zhang, who was appointed by one the defendants surnamed Fu, the actual controller of the company, to hire workers to handle imported cold-chain goods on the foreign cargo ship. Zhang also supervised the onsite operation. 

Due to a series of non-standard operations that violated the regulations on epidemic prevention and control, the virus imported via the cold-chain goods was spread to society. 

The violations included the failure to implement whole-process standard protection. Zhang neglected his supervision over operating personnel who did not wear masks according to requirements and eat meals in contaminated protective garments. 

When arranging accommodation for the workers, another defendant surnamed Fu, who is the legal representative of the company and son of the company owner, failed to inform the hotel operator of the company employees' work content of handling imported cold-chain goods. The hotel where the workers stayed was open to the public. 

Besides, the employees visited multiple public venues after work. 

Zhang also organized workers who were later confirmed as infected with COVID-19 to dine out at restaurants which led to the virus spreading to residential compounds. 

After the employees quit their job, they were not quarantined, did not take nucleic acid tests or monitor their health conditions for the following 14 days according to epidemic prevention regulations, which led to several merchants and consumers at a shopping mall contracting the virus. 

Global Times