Shanghai - Investigations into China's cold-chain sector have led to several managers, officials and business owners being punished for failing to meet COVID-19 prevention standards, the country's corruption watchdog said in a notice. The Beijing branch of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) accused several people involved in the cold storage business of management and supervisory failures when it came to controlling COVID-19.
It accused one manager in an industrial park in southwest Beijing of "poor leadership and non-standard management that led to the spread of the epidemic." Several officials have been expelled from the Communist Party and could face further criminal punishment, according to a notice published by the CCDI late on Sunday.
After linking a number of local cases to the cold- chain industry, Beijing also promised earlier this month to tighten its screening procedures. China has been an outlier in asserting that COVID-19 can be transmitted via cold-chain imports such as frozen meat and fish, even though the World Health Organization has played down the risk. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last year that the relative risk of coronavirus infections through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects is considered low. After linking a number of local cases to the cold-chain industry, Beijing also promised earlier this month to tighten its screening procedures.