New Zealand PM: No COVID-19 on meat exports

New Zealand's Prime Minister hit back on Monday (November 16) at Chinese claims that there were traces of coronavirus on her country's meat exports.

It follows reports over the weekend that the city of Jinan, in China's east, had found COVID-19 in beef and tripe, and on their packaging, from New Zealand, Brazil, and Bolivia.

While, two other provincial capitals said they also detected the disease on pork packaging from Argentina.

Fearing import bans, Jacinda Ardern is seeking further clarification from Beijing on the matter:

"We were aware of some products having tested positive from Argentina that were in the same cold store, but not our products. I do want to get to this bottom of this, this is incredibly important to New Zealand. We are confident of course that our products do not, and are not, exported with signs of COVID on them, given our status as essentially being COVID free."

China has ramped up testing on its frozen foods after repeatedly detecting the virus on imported products.

New Zealand has won worldwide praise for its handling of the pandemic.

The country has successfully eliminated the virus from the community twice, and currently has just 58 active cases, all in managed isolation facilities.