Deli.Suara.com – More than five million people in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen have been ordered to undergo Covid-19 testing this week. Local authorities requested this after they detected around 40 positive cases of the virus.
However, the command was not only for humans. The official notification states that a number of marine animals are also expected to undergo the latest mass Covid testing.
The Maritime Pandemic Control Committee in Jimei District, Xiamen, has in recent weeks stated that upon returning from fishing, fishermen and marine animals they bring must undergo a Covid test.
Amid the spread of positive cases in the area, a video footage has circulated on several social media, including the local version of TikTok, Douyin, in which a number of medics perform PCR tests on live fish and crabs.
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While this may seem unusual, this is not the first time live fish have been tested for tracking Covid.
“We have learned a lesson from Hainan, which is facing a severe outbreak,” an employee at the Xiamen City Marine Development Bureau told the South China Morning Post newspaper.
The government employee said that the spread of Covid transmission could potentially be triggered by contact between local fishermen and fishermen from abroad.
More than 10,000 positive cases of Covid-19 have been recorded since early August in Hainan Province, South China. Just like Xianmen, Hainan is in the coastal region.
Local authorities believe that the current widespread transmission of Covid is related to fishing communities.
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Chinese media have long expressed concern that marine life may have links to the coronavirus. The Covid-19 outbreak was first linked to an animal and marine animal market in Wuhan City, China.
Although marine animals are unlikely to host the coronavirus, many cases of transmission in China have been linked to port workers, including those handling cold chain goods and two workers at a seafood specialty market.
In June 2020, the widespread transmission of Covid had triggered panic among residents who used to eat salmon.
Chinese state-owned media at the time reported that Covid-19 was detected on a cutting board used to cut imported salmon.
Not only did restaurants and supermarkets pull salmon out of their stores, the issue also stopped imports of salmon into China.
Panic then spread across the country and sparked anxiety about the impact of eating seafood.
Fish are not the only animals that have undergone Covid-19 testing in the Chinese government’s efforts to eradicate the coronavirus over the past two years.
In May, China’s official media circulated footage of hippos being tested at a wildlife park in Huzhou, East Zhejiang. The report says the animal needs to be tested twice a week.
Other videos also show dogs, cats, chickens and even pandas undergoing PCR tests in China.
The Chinese government’s rationale, widely cited by leading media, is to ensure the safety of animals, tourists and visitors to places where the animals live.