The Coronavirus continues to devastate, as we approach the weekend. In just over a day, the death toll has risen by more than thirty, and over a thousand more confirmed cases have been reported. With this comes the inevitable discussion -- how did this deadly virus transmit to humans in the first place? Due to reports that the initial cases had epidemiological links to a large seafood and animal market, the virus is thought to have a zoonotic origin, though this has not been confirmed.
1) Why the 2019-2020 Coronavirus outbreak calls for an international ban against the consumption and sale of exotic animals.
The COVID-19 has been previously speculated to have originated from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, which is the largest seafood wholesale market in Wuhan and Central China. Although it is called a seafood market, the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market is infamous for selling live, wild and exotic animals. Animals such as Dogs (which is a common delicacy in China), Peacocks, Bats, Civets, Deer, and Rats are merely some out of the many animals up for sale at the market.
Image obtained from Mothership
Pictures of bat soup (left) and a price list of the animals available for purchase (right) at the aforementioned seafood market has been circulating online.
Karmagawa, an online charity community, took to their social media account expressing their concern over the sale and consumption of exotic animals.
The post, which has garnered over half a million likes and more than a million shares urges followers to support the ban of wild animal trading worldwide. Netizens were quick to fill up the comments section, one public figure @carmellarose wrote “Absolutely disgusting”, while another @timothyskyes wrote “SO DISGUSTING! We gotta ban these unhygienic markets ASAP, when the f**k will people wake up?” The Chinese government has since only implemented a temporary ban on the 26th of January, and has yet to comment on the international outrage caused by the wildlife trade that is highly prevalent in China.
2) Citizens of Wuhan accusing Chinese officials for causing the spread of Coronavirus.
In a recent video posted on youtube, a Wuhan citizen is giving us insight as to how the medical systems in Wuhan are inadequate and are unable to meet the demands of their citizens. In the video, he explains that emergency hotlines are oftentimes unavailable due to busy and hospitals are severely overcrowded.
He goes on to explain that the number of infected persons in Wuhan is indeed more than what Chinese officials have been reporting, as Wuhan hospitals simply lack the supplies to test all of the suspected carriers and individuals. Hence, the number of reported cases is only a mere estimate as to how severe the outbreak is.
Image screenshot from The Newsmonger
Later in the video, he is seen to be visibly upset with the Chinese government, as the lack of healthcare has increased the chances of the virus being spread. He describes the constant rejection that sick persons of Wuhan face, which inadvertently causes the spread of the virus. “They simply don't have enough resources or manpower to test it. They'll just tell you to go home and isolate yourself” the man explains in Mandarin.
This video comes a couple of days after a nurse posted a video about the dire medical systems in Wuhan. You can read more about it here.
China now has more cases of coronavirus than it had of SARS, with 5997 confirmed cases and 132 deaths as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the 29th of January.
Update: As of the 30th of January, the Wuhan mayor has since admitted to withholding information about the initial outbreak.