China to reopen exotic animals market?

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Apr 01, 2020, 12.42 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( AFP )

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This comes after more than two months since the city was put under lockdown due to the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak.

The daily life in China's coronavirus epicentre, Wuhan is limping back to normalcy. Marking a significant development, China recently announced that it will lift lockdown restrictions from Wuhan on April 8.

This comes after more than two months since the city was put under lockdown due to the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak.

However, despite all this, Wuhan is still far from normalcy.

Though, Beijing has been denying reports that suggest that the coronavirus originated in China 

In January, Director of China's Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu said that "The origin of the new coronavirus is the wildlife sold illegally in a Wuhan seafood market". 

According to multiple reports, China is considering to open the same markets know as "wet animals markets" in the country.

The Hunan seafood market in Wuhan is believed to be the birthplace of the coronavirus.

When the disease spread, the government went into overdrive and cleaned every corner of the site.

In the process, China destroyed all evidence of the origin of the virus.

Since China has destroyed all evidence systematically, nobody for sure can say what happened at the Hunan seafood market.

But, considering the fact that China's People's congress voted on the to close down all the wet animal markets in the country on February 24, it does suggest a link to the outbreak.

Though cautiously, several reports that suggest that Chinese officials have begun their operations in Hunan market.

In February, China put a ban on the consumption of all exotic animals. However, the trade is still on.

A week ago, Qatar bases channel, Al Jazeera reported that traders are using e-commerce platforms to sell "wildlife products".

Another London based report claimed that traders are back in business and wild animals are up for sale again.

This includes exotic animals like bats, scorpions, rabbits. even dogs and cats.

Live animal markets or wet markets are hotbeds for disease in China. It is a place where animals are slaughtered and sold. Live and dead animals are kept together making it the breeding ground for news viruses.

A similar script played out during the SARS outbreak in 2003. Even then it was believed that SARS came from a market in Foshan in China.

The SARS virus spread to 29 countries and killed more than 700 people.

Over these years, China has repeatedly warned against live animal markets and have been advised to even close them.

But, so far china paid no heed to the warnings.