16.11.2020 China

China claims pork from France infected with traces of Covid-19

By Jan van der Made - RFI
China claims pork from France infected with traces of Covid-19
LISTEN NOV 16, 2020

Chinese media has reported that traces of the virus that causes Covid-19 have been found in a shipment of frozen pork from France. The case is not isolated, and a recent study on the transferability of Covid-type viruses between humans and pigs has caused concern among scientists.

Last Sunday, authorities in the port of Xiamen, in China's eastern Fujian Province, detected the SARS-CoV-2 virus on the "outer packaging of 25 tons of frozen pork imported from France,” according to the Global Times, a newspaper close to China's Communist Party.

The newspaper says that the shipment entered China from Shanghai.

A local branch of China's Centers for Disease Control said that “none of the batch of frozen pork had been used or entered the market since arriving at a cold storage facility in Xiamen on Saturday.”

Local authorities promptly sealed up the products, and disinfected the surrounding area, according to the paper. Personnel were quarantined and tests came back negative.

Not isolated case

According to an article by news agency Reuters, the Chinese city of Jinan also found traces of coronavirus on tripe and beef, as well as on the packaging of products from Bolivia, Brazil, and New Zealand.

China's state television CGTN reported that traces were also found in frozen pork packaging in batches from Argentina.

Separately, the city of Baotou, in China's Inner Mongolia region, stated that it had disinfected a number of products and vehicles. This was done after a particular asymptomatic coronavirus case in Tianjin was said to have come into contact with a few batches of frozen pork also coming from France.

Swine flu

Meanwhile, a new study has found that another infection, called Swine Acute Diarrhoea Syndrome Coronavirus (SADS-CoV) is causing concern. Researchers warn that the virus could potentially wreak economic havoc in countries that rely on the pork industry.

New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows the SADS-CoV strain of coronavirus affects pigs and is capable of spreading to humans, with great negative impact.

“Efficient growth in primary human lung and intestinal cells implicate SADS-CoV as a potential higher-risk emerging coronavirus pathogen that could negatively impact the global economy and human health," according to the study published on October 29.

The virus was discovered in 2016 and has infected herds of pigs in China.

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