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Live coronavirus found in frozen food packaging in China


BEIJING: China’s health authority has confirmed the detection and isolation of the new live coronavirus in the outer packaging of imported frozen marine fish in the port city of Qingdao.
It is the first time in the world that the new live coronavirus has been isolated from the outer packaging of cold chain foods, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement on Saturday.
Authorities in Qingdao, where a new cluster of Covid-19 cases were recently reported, tested all of its roughly 11 million residents. No new clusters of cases were found after the tests, local authorities said.
In July, China suspended imports of frozen shrimp after the deadly virus was found on packages and the inner wall of a container.
The CDC said it detected and isolated the live virus on the outer packaging of imported frozen cod in Qingdao.
The finding was made during an investigation to trace the source of recent infections reported in the city. It has shown that contact with packaging contaminated by the new live coronavirus could lead to infection, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing the CDC statement.

However, the statement did not mention the country from which the package was imported.
The agency said the risk of cold chain food circulating in the Chinese market being contaminated by the new coronavirus is very low, citing recent results of nucleic acid tests for samples taken from the business.
As of September 15, a total of 2.98 million samples had been analyzed in the 24 provincial regions of the country, including 670,000 extracted from food or food packaging from the cold chain, 1.24 million from working personnel and 1 07 million from the environment.
Only 22 samples of cold chain food or food packaging tested positive for the virus, the CDC said.
Meanwhile, the National Health Commission said Sunday that 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19, all from outside the continent, were reported on Saturday. There were no new cases of Covid-19 transmitted locally, he said.
Of the imported cases, five were reported in Shanghai, four in Guangdong, two in Shaanxi and one in Tianjin, and one in Sichuan.
As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases on the continent reached 85,672.
In all, 80,786 patients were discharged after recovery, while the death toll was 4,634, the Commission said.

Times of India