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Chinese tourist city reports cold-chain related Covid outbreak

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China’s Liaoning province has reported 52 new domestically-transmitted Covid-19 cases and five silent carriers, all in the coastal tourist city Dalian, which has already suspended schools and colleges amid the latest virus surge, The Global Times reported.

The Covid-19 prevention and control authority of Dalian said on Thursday that the city added 11 new medium-risk areas, bringing the total number to 24. Meanwhile, the Dalian government decided to temporarily shut down non-essential public places, and put key places under closed management to minimise gathering activities.

So far, 97 asymptomatic patients, including 80 domestic infections and 17 imported cases are being treated in isolation in designated hospitals in Dalian.

Media reported that all companies involved in importing cold-chain foods have been suspended in Dalian. The first reported case in Dalian’s latest wave since November 4 was a 52-year-old employee working at a cold-chain storage warehouse in Zhuanghe, a city administered by Dalian, The Global Times reported.

Dalian suspended operation of all imported cold-chain food related companies on November 8, according to the office of Dalian cold-chain food epidemic prevention and control leading group.

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This is not the first time Dalian reported a cold-chain related outbreak.

In July last year, the outbreak in Dalian was suspected to have originated in the processing workshop of Kaiyang Seafood Company.
In December 2020, the first infected people of the epidemic in Dalian Jinpu New Area were handlers of imported cold-chain food, the report said.

Data showed Dalian shoulders nearly one-third of the storage of cold-chain goods in China. The epidemic in Dalian is likely to impact the circulation of cold-chain food in the domestic market, the report said.

Dalian is the largest port of cold-chain aquatic product imports and an important cold-chain storage and transportation base in China. Nearly 70 per cent of imported cold-chain goods enter China through Dalian port.

There are about 600,000 imported cold-chain related employees in Dalian, and the epidemic prevention and control pressure brought by imported cold-chain is huge.

So far, 14 cold storage employees in Dalian have been infected in the latest surge.

Dalian healthy authority said on Thursday that the outbreak is characterised by clusters of companies, families and schools, with a high viral load, rapid transmission and strong infectivity.



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