SHANGHAI: An official from the city of Tianjin said on Tuesday (Nov 24) two confirmed COVID-19 cases this month caught the virus from pig heads from North America.
Zhang Ying, an official at the Tianjin Center For Disease Control and Prevention, told a press conference that authorities had not tested the pig heads in question.
However, samples taken from the spots where the heads fell when they were being moved out of storage tested positive for the same strain of the virus as the two confirmed cases, who had both been exposed to the pig heads, Zhang said.
Tianjin authorities said earlier this month they would carry out tests on some cold storage facilities and staff after a coronavirus case involving a worker who had handled frozen pork imported from Germany. China says it has repeatedly detected the virus in imported meat and packaging.
China recorded five new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, down from 22 a day earlier, the country's health authority said on Wednesday.
All new cases were imported infections originating from overseas, the National Health Commission said in a statement.
The commission also reported six new asymptomatic cases, which China does not classify as confirmed cases, compared with eight a day earlier.
The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in mainland China now stands at 86,469, while the death toll is at 4,634.