On August 11 2020, in Beijing China, Chinese authorities have found and announced the novel coronavirus on the packaging of imported frozen seafood that arrived from the port city of Dalian, which recently battled a surge of COVID-19 cases of 92 cases on August 9 2020.
The virus was found on the outer packaging of frozen seafood bought by three companies in Yantai, a port city in eastern Shandong province.
However, the Yantai city government claims that the seafood was from an imported shipment that landed at Dalian but did not say where it originated.
The whole incident started late last year when the novel coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a market that sold seafood and wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
It has since spread around the world, with some new cases brought back into China from returning travellers.
Some of the seafood that the three Yantai companies bought had been processed for export, while the rest had been kept in cold storage and has not entered the market, the Yantai government said.
When asked if any of the processed seafood had been exported, a member of staff at a coronavirus outbreak response unit in Yantai declined to elaborate, referring Reuters to the Yantai city government statement.
Authorities had sealed off the goods, the city government said. Everyone who handled the goods was under quarantine and have tested negative for the coronavirus, it said.
Impact on Singapore
As Singapore heavily relies on import goods from other nations, especially China, there may be a slight chance where the “infected” frozen seafood may have entered Singapore. However, Singapore Food Agency and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore which both focus on food safety and the import and export of food in Singapore should have taken good control of the issue by performing thorough checks especially in times like this.
While Singaporeans are generally quite protected from getting infected from COVID-19 due to the “infected” frozen food, there may be an extremely small chance that it happens to one of us. Hence, we should be extremely cautious of the food we consume in this situation, by paying special attention to official news, so as to educate ourselves what should be avoided more.
A COVID-19 vaccine available?
On 12 August 2020, Russia said the first batch of its COVID-19 vaccine named ‘Sputnik V’ would be ready for some medics within two weeks.
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia had become the first country to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine, after less than two months of human testing. The president of Russia also said that he trusts the vaccine and has even given a dose of it to her daughter.
However, The vaccine has not yet completed its final trials. Only about 10 percent of clinical trials are successful and some scientists fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.
Russia officials then replied to their concerns by saying that they are “groundless” safety concerns.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said the vaccine developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute would be administered to people, including doctors, on a voluntary basis, and would be ready soon.
Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Institute, said clinical trials would be published once they have been assessed by Russia’s own experts.
He said Russia plans to be able to produce 5 million doses a month by December to January.
Many health-officials have retaliated by condemning Russia’s decision as a reckless act and a large population experiment just to win the vaccine race.
Without proper human tests, it is said to be unsafe for the vaccine to be used on humans. In any cases which may occur, Russia would have to bear their own costs.