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New alert on COVID-19 battlefront: Danish minks tested positive for the virus

A mink herd was culled in Denmark as animals and one human tested positive. A week earlier, the virus was found on a countertop in a meat market in Beijing.

Posted on Jun 22 ,11:08

New alert on COVID-19 battlefront: Danish minks tested positive for the virus

Chinese authorities have started to test meat and fish imported products for COVID-19 after the virus was found on a countertop in a meat market in Beijing a week ago. While the measure was considered to be extreme by suppliers across the globe, new evidence that animals may carry the virus comes from Denmark, where a mink herd was culled after animals and one human employee were found positive for COVID-19.
According to Food Minister Mogens Jensen, the discovery of COVID-19 in Danish mink has created a need for a greater overview of the occurrence of the virus in mink. Therefore, the Government is launching a new screening strategy.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration has also found COVID-19 in two mink when officials from the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration took samples from 46 mink in a mink farm in North Jutland on Thursday. "The government has decided that the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration is now launching a screening of 120 mink herds across the country. The screening should show us whether the initial findings were isolated cases or whether there was a more widespread infection in the mink herds. The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration will use the results in the further handling of COVID-19 among animals and humans,", said Minister Mogens Jensen.
"We are following developments closely. The National Serum Institute and the food authorities work together on high pressure to gain more knowledge about how the chains of infection move in the area. We are ready for further action. At present, it is still unclear whether the minks have infected the people or vice versa," declared Health Minister Magnus Heunicke.
The samples in the mink farm were taken because, on Wednesday, the Danish Patient Safety Agency informed the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration about COVID-19 infection in a family that runs the mink farm.
In China, samples of imported meat were tested by the authorities to find if the products are infected with the novel coronavirus. Among the first batches tested by the local authorities in Beijing was a sample of Argentinian beef, confirms Miguel Schiariti, president of the Argentinian Chamber of Industry and Commerce for Meat and derivates (CICCRA). However, Mr Schiariti said that is not worried about the results because "that meat that is now arriving in the Asian country was deposited and processed in January, February or the first days of March, where there was no presence of COVID-19 in Argentina. Also, this will not have an effect on our meat, because, in order for it to have any trace of this nature, it would have to have been processed by a sick operator, something that does not happen in our country."

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