November 17, 2020
New Zealand Prime Minister says meat exports have no COVID-19
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said no meat products exported from New Zealand have COVID-19, after authorities in China said they had discovered COVID-19 coronavirus traces from frozen beef imported from New Zealand, Reuters reported.
Jinan city authorities said they have detected COVID-19 on frozen beef and tripe, as well as on the product packaging from Brazil, Bolivia and New Zealand. Two other cities detected the virus on Argentinian pork.
Ardern said the country was told Argentinan beef products have returned positive COVID-19 tests, and some New Zealand products were in the same cold storage where the COVID-19 positive meat were stored.
However, the Prime Minister said they were not told that New Zealand products had COVID-19 coronavirus traces, adding that she is confident that their products are exported without any signs of COVID-19.
New Zealand has eliminated COVID-19 twice, with only 58 active cases in the country.
Ardern said New Zealand authorities are seeking clarification from China, but there has no official statement so far.
Authorities from Jinan city, Shandong province, said the products were imported by a unit from Guotai International Group, and Shanghai Zhongli Development Trade. The products entered China through Shanghai ports.
Even though the World Health Organisation said COVID-19 transmission from frozen food is low, China has increased its tests on imported frozen food, resulting in import bans.