The coronavirus at the origin of the COVID-19 disease was discovered during a routine check on chicken imported from Brazil, the world’s largest producer, Chinese authorities announced on Thursday.
The virus was present on samples of frozen chicken wings taken on Tuesday, from the city hall of the metropolis of Shenzhen (south), on the outskirts of Hong Kong.
The authorities claim to have “immediately” screened people who have been in contact with the contaminated products, as well as their relatives. These tests were all negative, according to the statement.
China, where the coronavirus first appeared at the end of last year, has largely contained the epidemic if official figures are to be believed. The country thus announced Thursday a daily report of 19 contaminations. The last death from the virus was in mid-May. Brazil, on the other hand, is the second hardest-hit country in the world, after the United States.
In the province of Anhui (east), the mayor of the city of Wuhu also announced Thursday the discovery of the virus on packaging of shrimp from Ecuador. These packages were kept in the freezer of a restaurant in town.
This is the second time since early July that China has reported the presence of the virus on packages of Ecuadorian shrimp.
In June, the huge Xinfadi wholesale market in Beijing was closed after the outbreak of an epidemic affecting several hundred people. Traces of virus had been detected there on a cutting board of imported salmon.
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease and there is no reason to believe that it can be transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated products.
Sources of contamination have appeared since the start of the pandemic in slaughterhouses in different countries, such as in Germany, France, the United States or Belgium.
Experts have trouble understanding the reasons for these contaminations, no doubt linked to overcrowding, but perhaps also to the cold and ventilation conditions specific to these factories.