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Hema Workers in Shenzhen Test Positive for COVID-19, 21 Stores Close

August 18, 2020

On Aug. 14, the Shenzhen Municipal Health Commission reported cases of COVID-19 linked to two workers at Hema’s Shuibei store. Hema subsequently announced that it would temporarily shut down 21 of its stores with effect from Aug. 15 to conduct thorough sanitization procedures, while also testing all of its Shenzhen-based workers and fresh food products for the virus.

According to Mai Jiaomeng, head of the Guangdong Administration for Market Regulation, a yogurt promoter from a Hema Xiansheng supermarket in Shenzhen was diagnosed via nucleic acid test after exhibiting symptoms in the nearby city of Shanwei. Immediately thereafter, the provincial task force on epidemic prevention for the agricultural trade organized an emergency response in conjunction with city-level task forces to investigate 36 Hema Xiansheng supermarkets throughout the province, as well as 12 affiliated warehouses and processing facilities, including 17 locations in Guangzhou, 24 in Shenzhen, 2 in Foshan and 5 in Dongguan. Imported frozen meat and seafood have been heavily targeted for testing.

As of 8 a.m. local time on Aug. 16, a total of 9,989 samples had been collected, including 6,645 personnel samples, 1,770 environmental samples and 1,574 product samples. At the time of publishing, the results had come back for 9,713 samples; with the exception of the samples taken from the two Hema workers at the Shenzhen Shuibei store, both of whom were asymptomatic, all of the samples returned negative.

The current step is for customs authorities in all regions to conduct tests on fresh imports, although this is conducted via random sampling and cannot be 100% thorough.

The Guangzhou Cold Chain Industry Association (广州冷链行业协会) is currently requiring a temporary halt to imports of frozen meat and seafood from coronavirus-affected areas, as well as nucleic acid testing for all personnel who have come into contact with such items. Shenzhen authorities have also strengthened their supervision of fresh food supply chains and reinstated checkpoint testing in all residential areas.

Image: Hema

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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