WHO Team Visits Wuhan Foods Industry in Search of Virus Clues

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WUHAN, China (AP) — A Environment Overall health Group crew wanting into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday visited the food current market in the Chinese metropolis of Wuhan that was joined to many early infections.

The team associates frequented the Huanan Seafood Marketplace for about an hour in the afternoon, and a person of them flashed a thumbs up sign when reporters asked how the trip was likely.

The current market was the web-site of a December 2019 outbreak of the virus. Scientists originally suspected the virus arrived from wild animals bought in the sector. The sector has given that been largely ruled out but it could offer hints to how the virus spread so commonly.

“Very significant internet site visits these days — a wholesale sector initially & Huanan Seafood Marketplace just now,” Peter Daszak, a zoologist with the U.S. group EcoHealth Alliance and a member of the WHO crew, mentioned in a tweet. “Very insightful & crucial for our joint groups to comprehend the epidemiology of COVID as it started off to distribute at the stop of 2019.”

Previously in the day, the crew members had been also seen walking via sections of the Baishazhou marketplace — 1 of the largest wet markets in Wuhan — surrounded by a large entourage of Chinese officials and associates. The sector was the foods distribution center for Wuhan during the city’s 76-day lockdown final yr.

The users, with skills in veterinary drugs, virology, food items basic safety and epidemiology, have so considerably frequented two hospitals at the middle of the early outbreak — Wuhan Jinyintan Medical center and the Hubei Built-in Chinese and Western Medication Healthcare facility.

On Saturday, they also visited a museum exhibition dedicated to the early record of COVID-19.

The mission has become politically billed, as China seeks to avoid blame for alleged missteps in its early reaction to the outbreak.

A one pay a visit to by experts is not likely to validate the virus’s origins. Pinning down an outbreak’s animal reservoir is typically an exhaustive endeavor that can take many years of investigation such as getting animal samples, genetic investigation and epidemiological scientific studies.

A single chance is that a wildlife poacher may possibly have passed the virus to traders who carried it to Wuhan. The Chinese federal government has promoted theories, with minor evidence, that the outbreak might have begun with imports of frozen seafood tainted with the virus, a notion roundly turned down by international experts and agencies.

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