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Important clues found about how pandemic started in Wuhan

A World Health Organisation expert investigating the origins of COVID-19 says his team has uncovered “important clues” about a Wuhan seafood market’s role in the pandemic.

Important clues found about how pandemic started in Wuhan
08.02.2021 10:40

Latest clues about the sources of COVID-19 have been discovered by a team of experts inside a wet market in Wuhan, the initial epicentre of the pandemic.

The 14-member group partnered with experts in China and toured main coronavirus hot spots and research centers to discover “some real clues about what happened,” Zoologist Peter Daszak revealed.

And the British expert based in the US added that his travel to the Huanan market in central Wuhan was particularly helpful and showed signs of people leaving in a “hurry.”

The lack of a definite route from bats to humans has stoked fear that the virus may have escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a high security bio-containment laboratory researching bat-borne coronaviruses, debunked by Daszak and several other scientists.The study was “collaborative,” he said, with Chinese colleagues assisting project investigators dive deeper for clues.

Daszak, who concentrated on the animal side, said his trip to the fresh produce market of Huanan in central Wuhan was particularly helpful.

The so-called wet market mainly sold fish, as well as meat that included wildlife that was freshly cooked. When cases emerged among employees and shoppers, it was a priority early in the epidemic, suggesting it may have been where the virus transferred from animals to humans.

Viruses are passed along “convoluted rivers of emergence” and it is difficult to map the path and it would take “a really long time,” said Daszak.“What I have seen already tells me that there are some real clues about what happened, and I hope that we’ll be able to make a solid explanation of that by the end of this trip.”