The five Chinese nationals arrested in Cairo Wednesday evening were cooking meals of animals' genitals, not grilled snakes, a veterinary official has said.
Egyptian prosecutors ordered five Chinese nationals be detained Wednesday evening for 24 hours for cooking snakes in their apartment in Cairo’s eastern suburb of New Cairo, according to Al-Ahram Arabic website.
The move by authorities came after police received a report from one of the residents in the area alleging that his Chinese neighbours were grilling snakes in their garden. Snakes are not traditionally eaten in Egypt.
A team of specialists has been formed to examine whether the seized food was harmful, Sayed Obaid, director of Cairo’s Veterinary Medicine, said in TV comments late Wednesday.
Photos of the large quantities of the food being prepared for grilling in a garden have gone viral on social media, sparking dozens of memes with some online users sharing views that the Chinese food could be a source of the deadly coronavirus.
Health experts have suggested that coronavirus may have originated in bats in China, where the contagion first emerged, before being passed on to humans via an intermediate animal.
Globally, nearly half a million people have been infected with the Covid-19 respiratory disease and more than 21,500 lost their lives.
Egypt has so far registered 456 infections and 21 fatalities.