COVID-19: China suspends food importation from 20 countries
The Chinese customs has suspended the import of products of 99 cold-chain food manufacturers from 20 countries that reported cluster COVID-19 infections among employees, according to the General Administration of Customs.
The Chinese Ministry of Transport also, on Monday, released a guideline to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 through imported cold chain foods in road and water transportation.
It urged all companies, docks, and freight terminals involved in cold-chain logistics to protect their frontline employees, stressing protective equipment distribution, temperature checks, and regular nucleic acid testing.
Stricter disinfection measures should apply to transportation, with transportation equipment for imported cold-chain foods, including vehicles, vessels, and containers to be disinfected regularly, according to the guideline.
The guideline also called for an information registration system to track and trace people, cargos, and vehicles more effectively.
According to the guideline, more efforts should go into emergency handling,
It added that immediate actions must follow to cut off the routes of transmission if any imported food or packaging test positive for coronavirus.
Risks of COVID-19 contamination through imported cold-chain foods are mounting in China.
On November 15, a packaging sample of imported frozen aquatic products and one from imported frozen pork were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 in east China’s Shandong Province and northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, respectively.
To minimise importation risks, related government departments of the country have rolled out measures to strengthen epidemic prevention and control.
The State Council joint prevention and control mechanism against COVID-19 has unveiled a plan to realise full-chain, closed-loop, traceable management of imported cold-chain foods.
They vowed to conduct complete disinfection of those products, novel coronavirus tests at the ports, and ensure all imported cold-chain foods entering the market are traceable.
Also, Chinese customs have suspended the import of products of 99 cold-chain food manufacturers from 20 countries that reported cluster COVID-19 infections among employees, according to the General Administration of Customs.