Dozens of company workers and government officials harshly punished for breaking laws in latest spike in port city of Dalian
Residents of Dalian, Liaoning province, line up to take nucleic acid tests on November 8, 2021. Photo: VCG
Some 15 executives, company employees and more than 40 government officials have been severely punished for their negligence of duty and violation of Chinese laws for undue gain that caused a new spike in COVID-19 in the port city of Dalian, in Liaoning province (northeast China), with 346 new local cases recorded in one month.
According to a statement released by the Dalian government on Monday, local authorities found that the outbreak was caused by the lawless activities of a cold chain food company.
Epidemiological investigation, serum antibody detection and cold chain food sampling proved that the virus was imported via contaminated cold chain food products. It first infected a worker at a Dalian Keqiang Food Company cold store, then spread to other workers. The virus was then transmitted to local communities.
The latest outbreak began on November 4. It was the third time that Dalian, one of China’s largest port cities for imports of cold chain aquatic products, was hit hard by a cold chain-related outbreak. In less than 10 days, the city’s tally reached 289, with 235 confirmed cases and 54 asymptomatic infections.
With a population of 7.45 million, the city has undertaken five rounds of citywide nucleic acid testing of local residents.
Managers and management personnel of Dalian Keqiang Food Company, the first designated cold store, lacked management awareness, seriously violated epidemic prevention and cold store control regulations, thus leading to the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the release.
Five employees of the company, including its chief, were arrested by local authorities for alleged violations of the law on the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
Dalian Haiqing Aquatic Products Company, in its role as a cold chain food processing enterprise, has not implemented relevant epidemic prevention regulations in daily management and has not implemented the epidemic prevention instructions, which led to the occurrence of a group of epidemic cases in the company. The public security organ took mandatory criminal action against the company’s legal representative and the factory’s general manager.
In addition, four staff members of a medical institute have also faced criminal sanctions for falsifying nucleic acid test records. Four other employees of a disinfection and quarantine treatment company were also being investigated for dishonesty and negligence in the performance of their duties.
Apart from this, a total of 42 government officials involved in the case have also been held responsible for disciplinary violations.