Wuhan's Huanan seafood market a victim of COVID-19: CDC director

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/26 11:13:40

The Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei Province and the epiccenter of the novel coronavirues, is believed to be the origin of the virus. Photos: CNS photo

The Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, Hubei Province which has come under the spotlight over suspicions that it was the origin of the novel coronavirus, is more like a victim of COVID-19, said the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the search for the origin of the outbreak continues.

"At first, we assumed the seafood market might have the virus, but now the market is more like a victim. The novel coronavirus had existed long before," 

Gao Fu, director of the center and member of the National Committee of the 13th Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said on Monday.  

Gao said he had gone to Wuhan to collect samples for COVID-19 researchers in early January, but no viruses were detected in the animal samples. Viruses were only found in environmental samples, including sewage.

Gao said that the Chinese government and scientists are working hard to study the origin of virus, but it is characterized by cross-species transmission, and so far, intermediate hosts of the virus have not yet been confirmed. 

Although the origin of the novel coronavirus is still not clear, some politicians in the US and other countries have continued to spread rumors, calling it the "Wuhan virus" and "China virus", even fabricating stories saying the virus was leaked from a lab at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. They claimed to seek an investigation into the origin of virus in China, and even demanded huge compensation from the country. 

Wuhan was the place that first reported the epidemic, but that does not make it the source of the virus. 

Virus tracing is a serious scientific endeavor that should be studied by scientists and medical experts based on science. More time is needed on studies of the virus origins, Gao said, as the novel coronavirus overturns much of what people have  known and many of its patterns are beyond our cognition. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said on May 19 that China supports a comprehensive evaluation of the global COVID-19 response to sum up experiences and address shortcomings after the pandemic is brought under control. 

This should be led by the WHO and conducted in a science-based, professional, objective and impartial manner. China has been consistent and clear about this all along, Zhao said. 

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