PHNOM PENH: Cambodian authorities have stopped five large containers of water buffalo meat imported from India after determining the shipment was tainted with the coronavirus, officials said on Tuesday. The Health Ministry said the virus was detected in three of the five shipping containers of frozen meat being brought in by a private company.
The contents of the three containers were to be destroyed later in the week, the ministry said in a statement. Cambodia temporarily suspended imports from India during its massive surge in coronavirus cases earlier this year, but began allowing them again in recent weeks as the Indian numbers declined.
Meanwhile, Cambodia is struggling with its own surge in cases after low numbers early on. The Health Ministry reported 685 new cases on Tuesday and another 19 deaths. It has confirmed a total of 74,386 cases and 1,324 deaths.
Its vaccination rollout, which began in February, has been picking up recently, and more than 40% of the population has now had at least one shot. The Health Ministry said Tuesday it will start allowing private companies to import approved vaccines as well.
Cambodia plans to vaccinate at least 12 million of its approximately 17 million people.
China has also recently reported detecting the coronavirus in food imports, imposing bans ranging from one to six weeks on pork from suppliers in Britain and Denmark, beef from Argentina, fish from India and chicken from Russia.
In the most recent action targeting beef, supplies from three Argentine exporters were blocked for one week starting July 10 following a positive virus test, according to the General Administration of Customs of China.
Last week, the agency blocked imports carried on a Dutch ship for one week after the virus was found on a shipment of herring, the agency said.