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Chinese officials say Brazilian imported chicken wings tested positive for Covid-19

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A sample of frozen chicken wings imported from Brazil tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Shenzhen ‘s southern Chinese region, authorities said Thursday, the latest in a series of reports of tainted food items imported.

On Wednesday the coronavirus was found on a surface sample taken from a batch of chicken wings during the sampling of imported frozen food in Shenzhen district of Longgang, the municipal government said in a statement. The brand hasn’t been named by officials.

Shenzhen health authorities immediately tracked and tested individuals who might have come into contact with the product, and all results returned negative; all related products in stock were sealed off and tested negative, the statement said.

Authorities are now tracing related products already sold from the same brand and have disinfected the area where the contaminated chicken wings were stored.

According to figures from Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has registered more than 3.1 million cases of coronavirus to date, the second-highest in the world after the United States.

News of the infected chicken wings comes one day after coronavirus was found on the packaging of imported shrimps from Ecuador, another South American country, during a routine inspection at a restaurant in eastern Anhui province, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reports.
Coronavirus was detected on the packaging of imported seafood products in several cities throughout China.

fish-seafoodfish-seafood

fish-seafood

According to state media reports, there have been seven instances since July where the virus was found on the packaging of imported seafood products across the country, from Shandong province on the east coast to Chongqing municipality in the west.

These incidents triggered concerns about the safety of imported foods. Chinese health officials have repeatedly advised the public to be careful in purchasing meat and seafood imported. Some on Chinese social media have called for all frozen food imports to be suspended.

‘No evidence’ on the transmission of food

But health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC), have said there is little chance of catching the virus through food.

The WHO says it is “extremely unlikely people would be able to contract Covid-19 from food or food packaging.” According to the CDC, the possibility of virus infection from food goods, food packaging, or bags is “thought to be very small.”

Both organizations point out that the coronavirus, when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks, spreads mostly person to person through respiratory droplets.

Although it is possible to catch Covid-19 by touching a surface or object — like food or food packaging that has the virus on it — and then touching your mouth, nose, or probably eyes, the primary way the virus spreads is not thought to be, according to the CDC.

“To date, there is no evidence of viruses which cause respiratory diseases to be transmitted via food or food packaging. Coronaviruses can not multiply in food; they need an animal or human host to multiply,” says the WHO.

David Hui Shu-Cheong, a specialist in respiratory medicine at the Hong Kong University of China, said that the imported food items that tested positive in China were most likely to have been contaminated during the packaging process.

But he said that it doesn’t automatically mean they ‘re contagious — the nucleic acid tests might pick up the dead virus RNA. Such virus remnants are known to have produced false positive outcomes on patients who have recovered from coronavirus, as in South Korea, for example.

However, if the virus taken from the food items can be grown in laboratories then they are contagious, he said, adding that the coronavirus can withstand freezing temperatures and remain active when thawed.

Screening stepped up

Since June, when a coronavirus outbreak in Beijing emerged from the city’s biggest wholesale food market, the Chinese authorities have increased screening of imported meat and seafood products.

coronavirus-testing

coronavirus-testing

Beijing implements soft citywide lockdown and tightens outbound travel as infections with coronavirus spread

At the time, state media confirmed the virus was found on a chopping board used on the market for imported salmon, causing Chinese capital supermarkets to withdraw salmon from their shelves.

Yet the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention officials have been working to allay fears. “We can not say that salmon is the source of the infection simply because novel coronavirus has been found on a seller’s chopping board,” Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at the Chinese CDC, told the Central Discipline Inspection Commission.

Alternatively, Wu said the chopping board may have been tainted by an infected owner or clients, or other virus-carrying items.

In July, a fresh coronavirus outbreak in the town of Dalian in the Liaoning province of northern China was linked to a seafood company that processes both imported and domestic seafood.

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My self Eswar, I am Creative Head at RecentlyHeard. I Will cover informative content related to political and local news from the United Nations and Canada.

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