HONG KONG: Hong Kong authorities said they found the coronavirus in samples taken from the packaging of imports of frozen beef from Brazil and frozen pork skin from Poland, vowing to step up inspections of imported food.
The global financial hub deploys a “dynamic zero COVID” strategy similar to mainland China’s, aiming to eradicate any outbreaks at all costs. Authorities have been on high alert as a new wave of infections is proving harder to control.
Daily infections numbers have risen sharply this year, reaching a record 7,533 cases on Monday (Feb 21), overwhelming the government’s testing, hospital and quarantine capacities.
The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) took 36 samples for testing from a batch of around 1,100 cartons of frozen beef, weighing a total of 29 tonnes, imported from Brazil by sea. It found one outer packaging and two inner packaging samples tested positive.
It also collected 12 samples from a batch of around 300 cartons of frozen pork skin, weighing around 7 tonnes, imported from Poland via sea. One inner packaging sample tested positive for COVID-19.
“The CFS has ordered the importers concerned to dispose the beef and pork skin of the same batches,” the government said in a statement late on Monday. “In addition, the CFS will step up the sampling of similar products for testing.”