No solid evidence to suggest coronavirus transmission chain in wildlife in southern China: WHO-China joint expert team member
Published: Mar 31, 2021 06:54 PM
Photo taken in April, 2020 shows vendors at the Baishazhou market, the biggest farm produce market in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT

Photo taken in April, 2020 shows vendors at the Baishazhou market, the biggest farm produce market in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province. Photo: Li Hao/GT



Scientists have yet to find solid scientific evidence suggesting that there was a transmission chain of coronavirus in southern China, said a Chinese expert and member of the WHO-China joint expert team on Wednesday, adding that a thorough investigation on the matter requires more virus tracing work in other countries under the WHO's coordination. 

Tong Yigang, the co-leader of the joint team's animals and environment group and professor at Beijing University of Chemical Technology, said that China have tested samples of both domestically raised animals and wildlife after the COVID-19 outbreak and found no evidence of viral transmission.

Chinese scientists have found a virus that is very close to coronavirus in southern China, but found no coronavirus, said Tong. 

His remarks came in response to foreign media speculations that the coronavirus originated from wildlife in southern China, as China ordered wildlife trading to close in February 2020.

Tong noted that world's knowledge about the virus was very limited in the early stages of the outbreak, leading some scientists to speculate it had something to do with wild animals. In order to contain the viral spread, China took many positive measures including the closure of farmland, he said, noting that mounting evidence has shown that China's early measures were proven effective in slowing viral transmission.

Tong added that they have screened the supply chain of the Huanan market in Wuhan, Hubei Province, where the first cluster cases were reported, and 20 countries and regions were involved. A thorough investigation requires more virus tracing work under WHO coordination, said Tong.

Global Times


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