Sales of salmon have been halted in Chinese capital Beijing after coronavirus was detected on chopping boards used to cut the fish.
There are fears of a second wave of the killer virus, with parts of the city put on a “wartime footing”.
Chinese state media said that 45 people out of 517 tested with throat swabs at the Xinfadi market in the city’s southwestern Fengtai district were found to have Covid-19 – although none were showing symptoms.
The chairman of the wholesale market told Beijing News that the virus had also been detected on chopping boards used to handle imported salmon.
Supermarkets throughout the city have now stopped selling the fish.
That concern also spread to other cities, with a major agricultural wholesale market in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, saying it would remove salmon products from its shelves from Saturday.
In Nanjing, capital of the eastern province of Jiangsu, a local association of restaurants said it would halt the serving of foods containing raw seafood or animal products.
Some Beijing residents, including a man shopping at a Carrefour supermarket in Fengtai district, said they were
confident authorities had the situation under control.
“If I were worried, I wouldn’t come here to buy meat. I believe it has been quarantined,” said the man, who gave his surname as Zhang.
District official Chu Junwei told a briefing: “In accordance with the principle of putting the safety of the masses and health first, we have adopted lockdown measures
for the Xinfadi market and surrounding neighbourhoods.”
The district is in a “wartime emergency mode,” he added.
The entire Xinfadi market was shut down at 3am on
Saturday local time, after two men working at a meat research centre who had recently visited the market were reported to have the virus.
It was not immediately clear how they had been infected.
On Saturday, market entrances were blocked and police stood guard.
Beijing authorities had earlier halted beef and mutton trading at the market and had closed other wholesale markets around the city.