China distributes prison terms for up to 4 years for ending the virus

China distributes prison terms for up to 4 years for ending the virus

China has sent three individuals to jail for up to four-plus years over breaches of decides that prompted a virus outbreak, in perhaps the harshest punishments for slips in implementing the government’s severe Covid-zero policy. The violations at a freight organization in Dalian, a port in the northeast, included neglecting to guarantee representatives wore masks, avoided visiting public venues after hours, and were properly quarantined and tested, the Global Times reported late Tuesday, oversights that that permitted four individuals to infect 83 others.

In late 2020, China saw virus flareups in Liaoning, whose second-largest city is Dalian, and in Beijing. Chinese authorities are especially protective of the nation’s capital, often requiring negative Covid tests to enter by plane or train, and strictly tracking people’s movements around town with a mobile app.

The episode involved a cargo ship bringing frozen goods into Dalian in mid-November 2020, the state-run news website said. The company’s controller, its legal representative and a supervisor were given prison terms from 39 to 57 months last week. The company was fined 800,000 yuan ($125,500), according to the news website, which didn’t give the full names of the company or the individuals, or name the court.

China claims that the coronavirus can persist in conditions found in cold-chain food and packaging, and authorities have been testing imported meat and seafood for traces of the virus. International health authorities downplay the likelihood of such transmission.

On Wednesday, police in Xuchang, Henan province, said in a statement that the regional head of a Guangzhou Kingmed Diagnostics Group Co. unit was detained for breaking virus rules, leading to an outbreak. The statement didn’t say what the person had done wrong.

Dalian handles about 70% of the total imported cold-chain products in the world’s No. 2 economy. In November last year, the city linked a flareup that led to placing tens of thousands of university students under lockdown on the cold-chain industry.

Shares of the company slid as much as 7.8% in Shanghai, touching the lowest since December 2020.

Henan is the one of China’s newest virus hotspots, prompting Vice Premier Sun Chunlan to urge authorities in the central province to adopt more targeted measures to curb Covid, the official Xinhua News Agency has reported.

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