China’s Global Times has recently reported that numerous recent outbreaks of COVID in China were traced back to imported clothing from South Korea.
Chinese state media has claimed that there are currently at least three outbreaks that are connected to clothes that were shipped in from South Korea. These include cases in Liaoning Province, Jiangsu Province, and also in the capital of Beijing.
Reporting claims that the clothing was tested and came back positive for COVID. This has been a common theme from CCP controlled media, asserting that outbreaks are due to infections from imported goods.
Recently Chinese media also stated that food imports such as shrimp, beef, and pork from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, New Zealand, and Saudi Arabia were contaminated with COVID.
While the WHO claims that the risk of passing the virus through frozen food is extremely low, China has been consistent in such claims.
It is true that some early studies found that COVID could remain on fabric for up to 72 hours. There has also been evidence through recent studies, though the findings of these studies are still fresh and need to be peer reviewed, showing that the Omicron variant might last on surfaces longer than previous strains due to its stability when compared to initial strains.
It should be noted though that most virologists still believe inhalation of aerosols is the main way most people will be infected (remember to wear your mask). It should likewise be noted that neither of these studies examined fabrics in their data.
So it could possibly be the case that these cases were linked to imported fabrics. However, it seems like they should have been screened and sanitized on import. Also with the current slowdown in shipping, it would likely take weeks, not within 72 hours to get product from South Korea onto shelves ready to sell in Beijing.
It seems much more likely that the cases were locally spread and the Chinese government is looking to offload the responsibility onto countries that it likes to demonize.
To be completely fair, it is possible that these cases could have been brought in through import. However, it is extremely unlikely that these cases came from Korean hoodies. What is more likely is that the CCP is using its foreign facing English language media to take blame off itself and put it on other countries that it sees as rivals.