Covid-19: Beijing outbreak grows as expert issues warning over frozen food

By: Alle McMahon |

A Chinese epidemic control worker wears a protective suit and mask while performing a nucleic acid test for COVID-19 on a man who has had contact with the Xinfadi Wholesale Market. Photo / Getty

Three cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in areas just outside Beijing, with fears the virus may have spread through frozen food.

A total of 158 cases have been reported across the city since a new cluster of infections linked to its sprawling Xinfadi wholesale market was detected last week.

Twenty-one cases were confirmed on Thursday, with another in the neighbouring city of Tianjin and two more in the Hebei province that surrounds Beijing.

The case in Tianjin involves a 22-year-old man who works in the city’s Conrad Hotel washing dishes and occasionally cleaning frozen seafood, China’s Global Times reported.

He had not travelled prior to developing symptoms and had had no known contact with any suspected cases, leading experts to suspect he may have picked up the disease by touching contaminated food.

He could have been infected by handling the food or even the ice used to freeze it, Yang Zhanqiu, a virologist at Wuhan University, told the outlet.

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About Cholo Brooks 14593 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.