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China calls on local governments to abandon COVID tests on certain goods – SABC News

China’s health authority announced on Tuesday that local governments no longer need to test some imported products for coronavirus infection, a move intended to reduce the costs of strict COVID-19 prevention measures.

China began testing chilled and frozen food packaging for the virus in June 2020 after several workers at a Beijing food wholesale market were infected.

Six months later, Beijing also proposed testing environmental products, although scientists say the risk of contracting the coronavirus from contact with contaminated surfaces is low.

The National Health Commission said on its website that local governments no longer have to test environmental food or other goods for the virus, but it was unclear whether the products would still be subject to customs inspections.

However, refrigerated and frozen foods will continue to be tested, but exporters will not face import suspension if their goods pass the customs inspection, the NHC added.

Efforts are underway to support the ailing economy

The moves come amid growing efforts to prop up China’s battered economy. China has linked previous outbreaks of COVID-19 among dock workers to the detection of the virus in frozen food.

But the intensive inspection, testing and disinfection of imported products came with significant costs and disrupted trade.

The virus has been detected in hundreds of refrigerated and frozen food shipments since 2020, and major suppliers of meat, seafood and other products have been suspended for weeks. Some local governments have gone beyond national rules, and Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, has outright banned frozen food imports to reduce the risk of the virus.

China calls on local governments to abandon COVID tests on certain goods – SABC News

Source link China calls on local governments to abandon COVID tests on certain goods – SABC News

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