China steps up prevention of COVID-19 via cold chain

BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) — China has put in place strict measures to prevent COVID-19 infections via cold-chain and frozen foods, said a senior epidemiologist Monday.

The measures include strict testing and disinfection at customs, the protection of workers throughout the shipment chains, regular nucleic acid testing for workers in the shipment sector and the inoculation of high-risk groups, said Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist with the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press conference.

Regular nucleic acid testing could detect infections at an early stage and helps nip an outbreak in the bud, Wu said.

Wu asked consumers not to worry about infections caused by purchasing or eating imported cold-chain foods.

Infections are possible only when the foods or cargoes shipped via the cold chain are heavily contaminated by the virus and people are in contact with them repeatedly for a long period of time, Wu explained, saying that recent sporadic infections were mostly among cold-chain workers.

Nevertheless, Wu advised the public to maintain hand hygiene and handle raw and cooked foods separately as precautions.

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