Punishment on residents who bought imported frozen food online revoked

Wang Qingchu
A district government in Hubei Province has revoked fines on households who ordered imported frozen pork online after the packaging tested positive for COVID-19.
Wang Qingchu

A district government in a city in Hubei Province has revoked a fine of 200 yuan (US$30.56) each imposed on 24 households who ordered imported frozen pork online after the packaging tested positive for COVID-19.

Huangzhou District government in Huanggang City said it was deeply sorry to the residents for its “inappropriate handling” of the issue.

China has stepped up its inspection and tightened up sanitation rules for imported frozen food after the packages of dozens of items were found positive for the novel coronavirus. China has vowed to curb the spread of the deadly virus through cold-chain transport. 

Huangzhou District government said it would offer free nucleic acid tests for those contacting the frozen food and make sure they are quarantined at home for observation.

When authorities conducted tests on imported frozen food stored at Changjing Warehouse Center in Wuhan, the packages of the frozen pork tenderloin imported from Brazil were found positive for COVID-19.

Authorities traced down to 24 households in Huangzhou who ordered them on e-commerce platform Meituan, the district government said in an earlier statement on December 10.

The 24 households were then tested and were all negative. They were asked to pay for the testing and to stay at home for quarantine. The government also issued a fine of 200 yuan on each household, citing a previous announcement banning the online purchase of imported food, the statement said.

It urged local residents to follow pandemic control rules and not to buy imported frozen food online as it might bring a huge risk of virus spreading.

Huangzhou police have also investigated the local outlet of Meituan, the earlier statement said.

The Ministry of Transport has released a guideline on preventing the transmission of COVID-19 through imported cold-chain foods during road and water transportation in mid-November, underscoring personnel training and protection, as well as the disinfection of vehicles.

The guideline requires that people, cargoes and vehicles involved in cold-chain logistics be properly tracked, while urging a swift response to any positive test results on imported food or packaging in order to cut off the routes of transmission.

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