Living Coronavirus Found on Frozen Food Packaging in China

The Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it discovered live coronavirus on frozen food packaging, a finding that suggests the virus can survive in cold supply chains. The sample was found on an outer packing of frozen cod in the eastern coastal city of Qingdao, marking the first time live coronavirus has been detected on the outside of refrigerated goods. China, which until the Qingdao outbreak had recorded no new local cases in 55 days, has been one of few countries to point to the possible transmission through frozen food. When Beijing had a second outbreak in June after the virus had been largely contained, officials suggested the new cluster could have come from imported salmon, according to The Guardian.

The finding was made during an investigation to trace the source of recent infections reported in the city. It has proved that contact with packaging contaminated by living novel coronavirus could lead to infection, the China CDC announced on its website.

A total of 2.98 million samples had been tested across the country’s 24 provincial-level regions by September 15, including 670,000 taken from cold-chain food or food packagings, 1.24 million from working staff and 1.07 million from the environment, according to Xinhua News Agency. Only 22 samples from cold-chain food or food packagings tested positive for the virus, the China CDC said.

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