China is experiencing the virus chaos all over again. A new coronavirus outbreak is now reported in the place of origin of the virus. At the time, experts point finger on bats. Now, a weird source has been reported by the health experts: virus comes from imported salmon fish.
China sees COVID-19 outbreak again
China sees a new COVID-19 outbreak happening in the country, targeting the Chinese capital, Beijing. After seeing no positive cases for the last months, Beijing has recorded an additional 36 positive coronavirus cases since last week.
China's Vice Premier Sun Chunlan warned its citizens regarding the higher COVID-19 risks in the area. The government also advised staying away from the city's largest wholesale market, since the outbreak reportedly started in this area.
However, unlike before wherein 'eating bats' became the reason for the outbreak, now, there is still no definite reason behind this, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
"As we've seen in many countries, the emergence of new clusters - especially when the origin of the cluster, the driver of the cluster, is not recognized - is always a concern," said Mike Ryan, head of the WHO's emergencies program. "But what we do like to see is an immediate response to that and a comprehensive set of measures."
The virus came from imported salmon?
If WHO can't identify the reason behind the sudden increase of COVID-19 cases again in China, state-run media reported differently.
Several of them reported that one of the main theories of the new outbreak came from salmon fish that were imported from Europe.
They told the public that virus strands were found on chopping board, inside the said market. These items were used to chop imported salmon fish that were being sold in the market.
Due to these claims, the Chinese government even halted the salmon products and packaging on major supermarkets in the country. Companies that sold salmon to Chinese stores immediately followed this new regulation.
"We can't send any salmon to China now, the market is closed," Regin Jacobsen, CEO of Oslo-listed salmon supplier Bakkafrost, told Reuters.
"We have stopped all sales to China and are waiting for the situation to be clarified," said Stein Martinsen, head of sales and marketing at Norway Royal Salmon.
WHO did not confirm nor deny the 'salmon' claim
The WHO clarifies that the 'salmon' theory has a basis; however, it is not enough to prove a point. Therefore, not the 'primary hypothesis' they're investigating.
"I think we need to look at what has happened in this case, I don't believe it is the primary hypothesis. But it needs to be explored," said WHO in the interview.