Circuit breaker needed to reduce virus risk from imported fr

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Consumers browse frozen food at a supermarket in Zhuhai, Guangdong province. (Photo provided to China Daily)

A circuit breaker system should be established for import of frozen food to minimize risks of entry of the novel coronavirus from overseas, said Zhang Boli, a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Imported frozen food contaminated with the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is posing increasing risks to epidemic control and prevention in China, with worsening global pandemic situation and arrival of the winter making the virus easier to survive longer in contaminated goods, Zhang said, according to Tianjin Daily on Monday.

A circuit breaker mechanism should be established so any country or region will be suspended from exporting frozen food to China for two months if the novel coronavirus is detected from such goods from the country or region, he said.

Meanwhile, some other measures should be taken to reduce risks via contaminated frozen food, including separating frozen food sales area from other areas in wholesale markets or seafood markets, and establishing a complete trace system for the supply of frozen food, Zhang said.

In a televised conference on Sunday, Ma Xiaowei, head of National Heath Commission, urged health authorities across the country to strictly implement measures to prevent importing of the coronavirus, including expanding nucleic acid testing for the virus, intensifying virus prevention and control measures on both inbound travelers and goods, and improving infectious control and prevention at hospitals.