The coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian province, made headlines for the controversial order of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to perform nucleic acid tests on freshly caught fish, crabs, and shrimp to detect COVID-19. The move caused mockery on the internet and criticism from experts who warn that it is a waste of resources.
The order from CCP authorities in Xiamen was initiated following an outbreak of COVID in a fish shop on Hainan Island.
Several videos circulated on the internet where health workers, wearing HAZMAT-styled protective suits, can be seen inserting cotton swabs into the mouths of fish and crabs.
In July, officials in Xiamen’s Jimei district issued a statement informing that both “fishermen and their catch” would have to undergo covid testing.
But this was not the only case of nucleic acid testing on fish, in Shanghai in March, during the increase in the number of cases and the closure of cities, fish from the seafood market were also subjected to COVID testing.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the CCP has conducted PCR tests on a variety of animals, including chickens, cats, dogs, pandas, and even hippopotamuses.
However, Jin Dongyan, a professor at the University of Hong Kong’s School of Biomedical Sciences, told CNN, doing PCR on fish is a waste of resources.
“They should focus on the people rather than the fish,” he said.
The expert explained that testing fish is “completely useless.”
“It is 100 or 1,000 times more possible that these fishermen got infected by other fishermen. There’s no evidence that the fish can transmit the virus,” he said.
Even so, Xiamen authorities maintained that COVID was transmitted by frozen seafood, suggesting that people may have become ill after handling contaminated containers.
But several studies show that transmission through packaging, that is contaminated surfaces and animals is impossible.
The Center for Animal Health and Welfare of City University of Hong Kong said that the risk of contracting COVID from animals is “negligible.”
On the other hand, Chen Chunqi, a professor at Hubei University’s School of Life Sciences said that the new variant of the coronavirus cannot infect fish. Fish are not mammals, and although they also have ACE2 receptors, they have a very different structure from the ACE2 receptors of higher mammals. The new coronavirus does not bind to the ACE2 receptor of fish, so it is impossible for fish to become infected, and there is no evidence that it can happen.
However, the CCP has persisted with PCR testing of animals and even objects, ignoring important worldwide scientific research to the contrary and at quite an expense.
Nucleic acid testing to cell phones
Recently, following PCR tests on fish, a foreign reporter in China on August 19, brought to light the latest in COVID testing.
Daniel Rechtschaffen, a risk analyst in China and Northeast Asia, posted the video showing how his suitcase, pillow, and cell phone are being tested by a healthcare worker wearing a COVID protective suit. The healthcare worker swabbed the pillow, the suitcase and finally the screen of his cell phone.
The young man tweeted: “In addition to testing fish, our Xiamen quarantine hotel also tests our pillows, phones, and suitcases.”
Twitter was filled with comments about his video, expressing criticizing the irrational actions of the CCP.
Internet users mocked CCP’s new anti-covid measures
Chinese citizens on the internet left thousands of comments on the PCR tests performed on fish. Some mocked the actions and suggested that it would be more appropriate to test mosquitoes, being the worst transmitter of diseases to humans. Another suggested, tongue-in-cheek, that fish data could be used to restrict their movements in the ocean.
An internet user said that this news makes it clear that the coronavirus “doesn’t affect the lungs but the brain instead.”
Some also felt bad for the fish: “They still have to undergo this before getting killed.”
Someone else wrote that the fish should be grateful for receiving a free COVID test.
Some people wondered if parts of the sea would be closed if some fish tested positive for COVID.
Apparently, no one and nothing can escape the CCP’s zero covid policy, not even fish.
PCR test used irrationally
The strict zero COVID policy has led to an irrational use of PCR, to the point that fish, animals, objects, surfaces, and even people’s skin was analyzed by placing a swab on the exposed surface.
In Chengdu at the end of July, when the city was closed for eight days, they performed constant nucleic acid tests on citizens.
Similarly, in several places, due to the shortage of nucleic acid, the PCR test was performed every 24 or 48 hours. In other areas, the absence of PCR leaves people unable to move around, because without a green QR code, no one can leave their homes.
The city of Shenzhen, for example, the city created a kind of social dependency, because you need a green QR code, even if you want to take the subway.
This social discontent with the strict zero COVID policy implemented by the CCP is compounded by the new inspection order called “human + thing,”causing people to completely reject what authorities are saying. How long will the Chinese Communist Party stubbornly defy reality, science, and even logic?