China’s state-run media has banned Chinese canned fruit imports for two weeks amid the nation’s record-high COVID-19 pandemic.

China’s state news agency Xinhua says that the ban is aimed at preventing the spread of the pandemic and to prevent the importation of more COVID products into the country.

In a statement, Xinhua said the ban will allow the Chinese government to make its own assessment about the possible effects of imports of canned fruit products.

The country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in a statement that the import ban “is to be strictly implemented in the most effective manner and takes into account all the relevant measures and procedures” to protect public health and the environment.

The United States said Tuesday it was suspending shipments of imported Chinese canned goods from its ports because of the outbreak.

The import ban comes as the United States is seeking Chinese help in fighting the spread.

The State Department said in late August that it had suspended the export of about 100,000 pounds of Chinese canned products, most of which came from Vietnam, because of concerns that they were used in the production of the deadly virus.

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