Medical staff wait to collect swab samples from residents for COVID-19 test in Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 14, 2020. (Photo:Xinhua)
The coronavirus is able to pass from objects to humans and exist in cold-chain conditions for a long time, said officials in Qingdao, East China's Shandong Province, noting that the discovery adds pressure on the city's efforts to prevent imported cases.
The discovery was announced by Luan Xin, deputy mayor of Qingdao, the latest Chinese city to report local COVID-19 cases. He claimed that in a worldwide first, Qingdao has found sufficient evidence to show that the virus is able to pass from objects to humans.
Luan also said that the virus is able to exist in cold-chain conditions for a long time.
Luan said that this will add pressure to the city's work of preventing imported coronavirus cases, and requires the relevant government departments and personnel to examine both people and objects entering China.
The city vowed to strictly examine all imported cold-chain products. Control measures include expanding nucleic acid testing for cold-chain industry workers. Those who have had direct contact with cold-chain products cannot leave the designated area, and will receive tests every three to five days.Those who work more than five days need to be tested every five days.
Wholesalers who purchased imported cold-chain products have to report to local authorities 24 hours before the food arrives, said Chen Wansheng, an official with the Qingdao municipal government.
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on Sunday that it had detected and isolated living coronavirus in a positive sample from the outer packaging of imported frozen cod.
It was the first time it has been confirmed that under special conditions of cold-chain transportation outside the laboratory, the coronavirus can survive on packaging for a long time, showing that the virus can be imported within the cold-chain condition for long transporting distances across borders, said the announcement.