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Friday, November 27, 2020, 23:00
China vows to stem COVID-19 spread through imported foods
By Xinhua
Friday, November 27, 2020, 23:00 By Xinhua

A customer walks past an imported frozen fish counter at a supermarket in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province on Nov 18, 2020. (STR / AFP)

BEIJING - China will step up efforts to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 through imported cold-chain foods amid recent reports of cold-chain packaging and environments testing positive for the novel coronavirus, an official said Friday.

Since mid-November, packaging samples of imported foods that tested positive for the virus have been reported in the provinces of Shandong, Shanxi and Shaanxi

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) has released a guideline on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 through imported cold-chain foods during road and water transportation, underscoring personnel training and protection, as well as the disinfection of vehicles, MOT spokesperson Sun Wenjian told a press conference.

Participants in cold-chain logistics exposed to infection risks will be professionally trained to use protective suits, while dock-workers have been instructed to wear masks and avoid contact with frozen products that could be contaminated by the virus, said Sun.

Thorough sterilization of vehicles and containers will be carried out before and after each transportation of cold-chain foods, with special attention paid to spots that pose a higher risk of contamination, including steering wheels and door knobs, according to Sun.

ALSO READ: Beijing's Xinfadi market suspends cold-chain trade

The guideline also requires that people, cargos and vehicles involved in cold-chain logistics be properly tracked to support contact tracing, while urging a swift response to any positive test results on imported food or packaging in order to cut off the routes of transmission.

Since mid-November, packaging samples of imported foods that tested positive for the virus have been reported in the provinces of Shandong, Shanxi and Shaanxi.

READ MORE: COVID-19 likely spread by cold-chain products


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