An employee at a cold storage company in Tianjin tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday after handling a package of frozen meat imported from Germany, according to local health authorities.
The man, a porter at Hailian Cold Storage in the northern port city’s Binhai New Area, is now being treated in hospital, according to an announcement on the Tianjin Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WeChat account.
Authorities are also testing samples collected from his close contacts and workplace environment for the coronavirus.
The Global Times newspaper reported that eight people who had come into contact with the Tianjin worker were put under quarantine as a precaution.
The virus is believed to have originated from a shipment of frozen pork knuckle originating from the German seaport Bremerhaven.
A sample from the product’s packaging collected in Dezhou, Shandong province after being imported through Tianjin also tested positive for the coronavirus, according to officials.
According to the government, there have been hardly any new infections in China for months, so life and economic activity are returning to normal.
Large parts of the country are considered to be free of the coronavirus but there have been repeated smaller local outbreaks that are being fought with strict measures such as lockdowns and mass testing.
China has blamed infections on frozen food or its packaging imported from abroad several times in the past.