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Measures to tighten frozen food oversight

By Zhang Xiaomin in Dalian, Liaoning, Du Juan in Beijing and Aybek Askhar in Urumqi | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2020-07-31 09:52
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Beijing and Dalian, Liaoning province, have tightened the supervision of imported frozen food amid the recent outbreak of COVID-19 infections, especially after an epidemiologist spotted the similarity of the two cities in seafood markets or processing.

Dalian has increased its screening of imported aquatic products, frozen and refrigerated meat and other key products, and has also strengthened the daily supervision of storage facilities and markets, said Zhao Lian, deputy director of the city's health commission, on Thursday.

Beijing will also strengthen oversight of imported cold-chain food by accelerating the formulation of standards in the sector, along with a tracing system, according to a statement from the capital's anti-virus leading group on Wednesday.

The two cities have experienced recent outbreaks of COVID-19, with similar origins.

In Beijing, the infections were related to the Xinfadi wholesale food market; in Dalian, many confirmed cases have been connected to people working at Kaiyang World Seafood Co.

Further, the outbreak in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, in January was tied to the Huanan seafood market.

"The three places all have moist, low-temperature environments," Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told CGTN in a TV program in Chinese on Wednesday night.

That type of environment is suitable for the survival of the virus, he said. When there is contamination, the virus can accumulate in certain areas and is not easily killed, so there's a risk of transmission, he said.

According to Wu, Dalian has identified no new local COVID-19 cases for more than 100 days. The virus must have come from outside.

Big data analysis has not established a definite relationship between the epidemic in Dalian and the outbreak in Beijing, he said, nor is there any definite indication of a connection with imported cases from abroad.

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