Covid: WHO wants to ban the sale of live wild animals in food markets

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Markets selling live and dead wild animals are a ‘likely source’ of the Covid pandemic, experts said last month (Photo: AP)

The World Health Organization has called for a ban on the sale of live wild animals in food markets to help stop future pandemics as the global Covid death toll approaches three million.

Experts who looked into the origins of the Covid crisis said markets selling both live and dead animals were a likely source last month.

The WHO previously recommended that so-called “wet markets” remain open with improved conditions to protect jobs and supplies – but the organization changed its position in a statement today.

He said: “Animals, especially wild animals, are responsible for over 70% of all emerging infectious diseases in humans, many of which are caused by new viruses.

“Wild mammals, in particular, pose a risk for the emergence of new diseases.”

The statement added: “In the world, traditional markets can play a central role in providing food and livelihoods for large populations … Banning the sale of animals can protect the health of people – both those who are there. work and those who shop there. “

A joint study by the World Health Organization and China in March said transmission of the virus from bats to humans via another animal was the most likely scenario for its emergence. .

Scientists questioned the possibility of a lab leak, saying it was “extremely unlikely.”

FILE - In this file photo from Saturday, March 14, 2020, health officials inspect bats for confiscation and slaughter following a coronavirus outbreak at a live animal market in Solo, the Central Java, Indonesia.  The World Health Organization said on Friday, May 8, 2020 that although a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan selling live animals likely played an important role in the emergence of the new coronavirus, it does not recommend closing the these markets alive in the world.  (AP photo, file)

Health officials inspect bats for confiscation and slaughter following a coronavirus outbreak at a live animal market in Solo, Central Java, Indonesia (Photo: AP)

The authors of the report declined to rule out the possibility that the initial infection took place overseas and the infected animal was subsequently imported into the country – a theory popular in Chinese media.

However, the results still left many questions unanswered, with the team recommending further research in all areas except the lab leak hypothesis.

Nearly three million people have died from coronavirus worldwide, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

More than 127,000 of these deaths have taken place in the UK, although the ONS places the death toll much higher.

There have been more than 136 million positive tests worldwide, but countless people have not had access to a test, while many more are asymptomatic.

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