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China halts imports of seafood products from Indian firm: Report

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Beijing, Nov 13: China has suspended the import of seafood products from an Indian company for a week starting from Friday, after traces of COVID-19 were reportedly found on the outer packaging of some samples of frozen cuttlefish exported by the firm.

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China''s General Administration of Customs suspended the import of seafood products from an Indian company for one week starting from Friday after COVID-19 was found on the outer packaging of some samples of frozen cuttlefish from the company, the state-run Global Times reported.

The report, however, has not provided any details of the company which exported the fish to China.

It also said Liangshan county in East China''s Shandong Province on Friday reported that packaging from one batch of imported frozen beef tested positive for COVID-19.

The beef was delivered from another Chinese city. Control and management of resources will be strengthened, Bi Kexin, head of the import and export food safety bureau of the General Administration of Customs, was quoted as saying.

The Chinese customs will further enhance their inspection of cold-chain imported foods in a bid to prevent the risk of imported coronavirus infections, Bi said.

China has communicated with the authorities of 109 countries that export cold-chain food products to the country, with suggestions and requirements receiving active responses from the respective departments, Bi said, adding that 140 cold-chain food producers from 50 countries have been inspected, and 22 companies have been dealt with regarding unqualified products.

It has been estimated that there have been over 25 novel coronavirus cases detected in imported food cold chains since the first case was found in July, mostly from major frozen food-exporting countries including Ecuador, Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and Norway, the report said.

The novel coronavirus, which originated from the central Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year, has claimed nearly 1.3 million lives and infected over 52 million people globally, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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