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Imported Salmon Being Investigated as Fomite in Beijing Covid Cluster

Experts found the Coronavirus strain linked to a recent cluster of Covid-19 cases in Beijing originated from Europe by sequencing the entire genome. One theory being investigated is that the transmission vector was salmon imported from Europe. This tenuous link is based on a chopping board testing positive for Coronavirus. It is expected that relevant administrative bodies (GAC, SAMR, NHC, etc.) will intensify food safety supervision and inspection during the importation process and make Coronavirus testing a mandatory step during customs inspection and quarantine processes.

On June 11, 2020, a new COVID-2019 case was found in Beijing, after 56 days of no cases. As of June 14, 2020, 51 cases were confirmed [1] from June 11 to 14. Contact tracing efforts and genomic analysis of the virus showed that the origin of the virus of this new Beijing cluster is from Europe. According to the responsible person at the wet market, the competent authority detected Coronavirus on a chopping board used to cut imported salmon [2], although this tenuous link is still subject to intensive investigation to rule out other causes. Meanwhile, all the imported salmon products were removed from supermarkets, restaurants, and online community stores in Beijing. 

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