Coronavirus found on frozen seafood in China

Frozen seafood products are seen at a supermarket in Beijing on June 17, 2020.
Frozen seafood products are seen at a supermarket in Beijing on June 17, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING (REUTERS) - The authorities in China have found coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the north-eastern port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of cases, a local government said on Tuesday (Aug 11).

The virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood bought by three companies in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province.

The Yantai city government said in a statement that the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian, but did not say where it originated.

In July, customs officers in Dalian, a major port in Liaoning province, found the coronavirus in the packaging of frozen shrimps imported from Ecuador, and China then suspended imports from three Ecuadorean shrimp producers.

The coronavirus is first detected in a market that sold seafood and wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year.

Some of the seafood that the three Yantai companies bought had been processed for export, while the rest had been kept in cold storage and has not entered the market, the Yantai government said.

When asked if any of the processed seafood had been exported, a member of staff at a coronavirus outbreak response unit in Yantai declined to elaborate, referring Reuters to the Yantai city government statement.

The authorities had sealed off the goods, the city government said.

Everyone who handled the goods was under quarantine and have tested negative for Covid-19, it said.

The latest Covid-19 outbreak in Dalian city started in late July, with the first case being an employee working at a seafood processing company.

By Aug 9, Dalian had reported a total of 92 cases.