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Fish tested for covid amid outbreak in China

Fish tested for covid amid outbreak in China

Forty people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the coastal city of Xiamen, and now officials are testing fish too.

Fish are being tested for Covid-19 amid a new outbreak in the Chinese coastal city of Xiamen.

There have been 40 cases of the virus in humans, and now officials are taking no chances by testing certain forms of sea life too. Watch below:

As reported by the BBC, a notice was distributed by Xiamen's Jimei Maritime Pandemic Control district committee who said that fishermen must return so 'both [they] and their seafood [can] be tested.'

While this precaution, which is part of a mass testing initiative, seems extreme, non-human animals have been tested for Covid-19 in China before.

The South China Morning Post quoted an employee from the Xiamen Municipal Oceanic Development Bureau, who said: "We've taken lessons from Hainan, which is witnessing a severe outbreak.

"It's said that it may be triggered by marine product transactions between local fishermen and their overseas counterparts."

Hainan, like Xiamen, is a costal region, and its outbreak has resulted in over 10,000 cases of Covid-19 since the start of August.

Authorities are now speculating if seafood helped the virus to take hold, which is why they are taking the precaution of testing fish.

A Covid-19 test.
Alamy / Monica Wells

Despite the caution, the BBC reports that seafood itself is unlikely to host the virus.

However, in 2020, fears were sparked after state media reported that Covid-19 was found on chopping boards that had been in contact with imported salmon.

All imports of the fish were stopped as a result, and it was removed from many restaurants and supermarkets as a precaution.

China hasn't just been testing fish for Covid-19, as earlier this year, footage of a hippo being tested went viral.

It was posted to Twitter with the caption: "It's really massive mass testing if even the hippos are undergoing Covid19 tests (twice a week now, apparently)."

The animals, such as this hippo at wildlife park in Huzhou, eastern Zhejiang, were reportedly being tested for their safety and that of humans too.

These mass tests have not been without results either, and in December 2021, two hippos tested positive for Covid-19 at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium, Reuters reports.

Their only symptom of the virus was a runny nose.

The zoo's vet, Francis Vercammen, said: "To my knowledge, this is the first time in this species. Worldwide, this virus has been reported mainly in great apes and felines."

Featured Image Credit: Jinan Times / South China Morning Post

Topics: News