Traces of coronavirus have been detected in ice cream samples in north China, prompting authorities to seize thousands of potentially contaminated products. The northern part of the country is already battered with a recent outbreak which has pushed the caseload to 97,616 with over 4,700 reported fatalities. Now, the contaminated product has prompted authorities to step up their contact tracing measures along with heightening probe into imports.
Authorities have predicted that a total of 4,836 boxes of the ice cream which was manufactured by Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company in the northern Tianjin Municipality could be infected. In the aftermath, they have sealed over 2,089 boxes of the frozen product and are investigating 65 boxes that had been sold in the local market after the positive test results, LadBible reported. All the ice creams were made from whey imported from New Zealand and Milk powder imported from Ukraine.
Elaborating on the rare contamination, experts have stressed that the coronavirus might have been able to survive on the ice cream due to the cold temperatures at the storage facilities and the fact that it contains fat. Speaking to SkyNews, Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist based at the University of Leed said that it might have come from a human. The company's 1,662 employees are now in quarantine and people who bought the ice cream have been told to monitor their health and movements and inform authorities.
Meanwhile, more than 20,000 residents in China’s latest epicentre for novel coronavirus have been put under quarantine in state-run facilities as the nation fights its worst outbreak. According to state-run broadcaster CCTV, scores of people from villages around Shijiazhuang, located in the country’s north were sent to state-run quarantine facilities on January 13. The Asian giant, where the pandemic allegedly began, also reported a fresh fatality earlier this week, after eight months of successful recovery. Meanwhile, to counter heightening infection ahead of Lunar New Year, the country has initiated the construction of 3,000-unit quarantine centre or “centralized medical observation centre”.