Wuhan: China’s deadly ‘wet markets’ that are notorious for allegedly being the ‘creators of coronavirus’ are still up and running, at a time when rest of the world is dealing with a full-blown pandemic. Also Read - Scott Morrison Slams WHO For Backing China on Reopening Wet Markets
However, despite various appeals by countries to shut these markets, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not in favour of shutting them globally. What’s more surprising is the fact that the WHO had accepted that Wuhan market had a role in the novel coronavirus outbreak. Also Read - Not Wuhan Wet Markets, This Experiment Originated Coronavirus Pandemic
“The market played a role in the event, that’s clear. But what role we don’t know. Whether it was the source or amplifying setting or just a coincidence that some cases were detected in and around that market,” said WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Dr Peter Ben Embarek in a press briefing. Also Read - Not Just China, New York Too Has Over 80 'Wet Markets' That Sell & Slaughter Live Animals
He further said live animal markets are critical to providing food and livelihoods for millions of people globally and that authorities should focus on improving them rather than outlawing them.
Ben Embarek added that even though wet markets can aid the spread of epidemics, the positives outweigh the risks, and the world should be more focused on improving the markets’ integrity and cleanliness rather than shutting them down.
The focus should be to identify the original source for the COVID-19 outbreak before it jumps to the conclusion of closing live animal markets, he further said.
After the virus broke out in the country, the Chinese government, on March 5 banned the consumption of wild animals, however, the ban was temporary. The market returned to the business in April after the country reported no new cases of the disease for six consecutive days and many Chinese flocked to the market to buy exotic animals.
Several scientists, medical experts and animal rights activists have called for a ban on China’s wet markets. The wet-markets, at closer proximity to humans, with high viral burden or strains of higher transmission efficiency, facilitate transmission of the viruses to humans.