China imposes prison sentences of up to 4 years for coronavirus deadlines

BEIJING: China sent three people to jail for up to four years for rule violations that led to a virus outbreak, in one of the toughest penalties for enforcement breaches the government’s strict Covid-zero policy.
Violations at a freight company in Dalian, a northeastern port, included employees not wearing masks, avoiding visiting public places after hours, and being properly quarantined and tested, a The Global Times reported on Tuesday, oversights that allowed four people to infect 83 others.
The episode involved a cargo ship carrying frozen goods to Dalian in mid-November 2020, the state’s news website said. The company’s controller, his legal representative and a supervisor were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 39 to 57 months last week. The company was fined 800,000 yuan ($ 125,500), according to the news site, which did not give the full names of the company or individuals, or the name of the court.
At the end of 2020, China experienced outbreaks of the virus in Liaoning, whose second largest city is Dalian, and in Beijing. Chinese authorities are particularly protective of the national capital, often requiring negative Covid tests to enter by plane or train, and strictly following the movements of people in the city with a mobile application.
China says the coronavirus can persist under conditions found in cold chain foods and packaging, and authorities have tested imported meat and seafood for traces of the virus. International health authorities minimize the likelihood of such transmission.
Dalian manages around 70% of the total imported cold chain products in the world’s second-largest economy. In November last year, the city linked a push that led to the isolation of tens of thousands of college students in the cold chain industry.


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