An analysis of frozen pork imported from Brazil was positive for the new coronavirus responsible for covid-19 in Zhejiang, an eastern Chinese province.
In a statement, the Market Supervision Administration in Jinhua City said that the analysis of a batch of pork imported from Brazil had a positive result for covid-19 on Thursday.
The meat, with a total weight of about 16.3 tonnes, arrived in the port of Shanghai on 14 January, where it was quarantined until 27 January.
Upon arriving in Jinhua, a new coronavirus was detected in two samples, one inside and one outside the packaging.
The authorities isolated the lot, disinfected the warehouse and tested 46 employees, all of whom were negative. Still, 13 employees remained in isolation, under medical observation for having had close contact with the meat.
The batch was sent by the Brazilian food producer BRF, SA.
In late November, BRF announced that China had authorized a slaughterhouse of the company that processes pork and chicken in Lajeado, in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, to resume exports to the Chinese market, after a suspension due to an outbreak of covid-19 among personnel detected in May.
This case joins several others that have occurred in recent months.
In November alone, China detected coronavirus in five batches of frozen meat imported from Brazil, including three times in Wuhan, a city in central China where the first cases of covid-19 were detected.
The Chinese state press has also regularly reported fines imposed on traders who illegally imported frozen meat from Brazil.
The Chinese government has defended anti-coronavirus controls on imported products that have stopped imports of beef, poultry or fish from Brazil, the United States and several European countries.
China accounted for 56% of Brazilian pork exports in 2020, according to data from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture.
The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,219,793 deaths resulting from more than 102.5 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report made by the French agency AFP.
Brazil continues to be the second most affected country globally, both in number of deaths and in cases, with a total of 223,971 deaths among 9,176,975 registered cases.