China has decided to test all the thousands of meat and seafood markets scattered across the nation for COVID-19 after Chinese epidemiologists suggest the markets could be havens for the novel coronavirus.
The Chinese Communist Party has vowed to conduct weekly testing of the nation’s meat, seafood, and other food markets after many of them repeatedly turned out to be the center of the outbreak, China’s state media Global Times reports.
According to the report, China’s State council needs the concerned administrative body to conduct sweeping monthly testing for COVID in all the nation’s agricultural markets with a special emphasis on seafood and meat counters.
The test will be done in the market’s employees, storage units containing meat and seafood along with the employees, including he sewer system and surrounding air.
China’s announcement comes after several coronavirus cases surfaced from the country’s agricultural markets including the largest market Beijing’s Xinfadi Wholesale Food Market in June, and the latest at the Dalian seafood market in July.
The first outbreak of the novel coronavirus was reported from a similar wet market in Wuhan’s Huanan in late December and early January.
According to the chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Wu Zunyou, low temperature, and humidity create the ideal condition for viruses to flourish and spread.
Researchers also found after an experiment with fluorescent powder in Beijing’s Xinfadi food market that the environment was contaminated and infections could spread through aerosol.
However, the recent Dalian case did not have any connections with the Beijing outbreak in Xinfadi, experts said, adding that the outbreak was caused by contaminated imported seafood.
(Cover image is representative)