The Perfect Enemy | China’s Wuhan seafood market likely cause of Covid-19 outbreak: Report
August 11, 2022

China’s Wuhan seafood market likely cause of Covid-19 outbreak: Report

China’s Wuhan seafood market likely cause of Covid-19 outbreak: Report  Hindustan TimesView Full Coverage on Google News

Read Time:5 Minute
Published on Jul 30, 2022 01:32 PM IST
Two peer-reviewed studies, published in the journal ‘Science’ take different approaches but come to the same result that the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan was most likely the epicentre for the coronavirus.

China’s Wuhan seafood market (Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
ANI |

A set of compelling evidence has once again emerged that backs the claims that Wuhan’s Huanan seafood and wildlife market was at the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak that has so far claimed over 6 million lives.

Two peer-reviewed studies, published in the journal ‘Science’ take different approaches but come to the same result that the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan was most likely the epicentre for the coronavirus.

The first study shows that the earliest known cases were clustered around the Wuhan market.

“While early COVID-19 cases occurred across Wuhan, the majority clustered in central Wuhan near the west bank of the Yangtze River, with a high density of cases near to, and surrounding, the Huanan market,” the study cited in the journal Science as seen on their website says.

Also read: Amid US-China tension, Joe Biden, Xi Jinping talk over 2 hours | Top points

The study is tilted “The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“All eight COVID-19 cases detected prior to 20 December were from the western side of the market, where mammal species were also sold. Unlike SARS-CoV-2 positive environmental samples, we found that COVID-19 cases were more diffuse throughout the building,” the study in journal Science adds.

The other study uses genetic information to track the timing of the COVID outbreak and suggests there were two variants introduced into humans in November or early December 2019.

The peer-reviewed study published in the the journal Science titled “The molecular epidemiology of multiple zoonotic origins of SARS-CoV-2” and cited by CNN takes a molecular approach and seems to determine when the first coronavirus infections crossed from animals to humans.

According to the study, the first animal-to-human transmission probably happened around November 18, 2019, and it came from lineage B. The researchers further found the lineage B type only in people who had a direct connection to the Huanan market.

“These findings indicate that it is unlikely that SARS-CoV-2 circulated widely in humans prior to November 2019 and define the narrow window between when SARS-CoV-2 first jumped into humans and when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. As with other coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 emergence likely resulted from multiple zoonotic events,” the study said.

Despite taking different routes, both studies arrive at the evidence that Sars-Cov-2 was present in live mammals that were sold at the Huanan market in late 2019.According to two studies, the virus was transmitted to people who were working or shopping there in two separate “spillover events”, where a human contracted the virus from an animal.

Also read: China property crisis: Asia’s richest woman’s $24 bn net worth plunges by half

These two peer-reviewed studies come a month after the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that scientists continue to research all possible origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, including a lab leak.

Kristian Andersen, a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research, said the studies don’t definitively disprove the lab leak theory but are extremely persuasive.

“I was quite convinced of the lab leak myself, until we dove into this very carefully and looked at it much closer,” Andersen was quoted as saying by CNN.

“Based on data and analysis I’ve done over the last decade on many other viruses, I’ve convinced myself that actually the data points to this particular market.”

QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads



  • Following the quake, Kathmandu's international airport was shut down. (Image for representational purpose)

    6.0 magnitude earthquake jolts Nepal

    An earthquake of magnitude 6.0 shook Nepal on Sunday morning. The quake took place 147 km ESE of Kathmandu, Nepal at 8.13 a.m IST around Martim Birta of Khotang district, according to the National Earthquake Monitoring and Research Centre. A high-intensity earthquake of magnitude 7.8 on the Richter scale struck central Nepal between its capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara on April 25, 2015. Following the quake, Kathmandu’s international airport was shut down.


  • Saudi DJ Leen Naif plays at a university event in Saudia Arabia's Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on May 26, 2022.

    More Saudi women opt DJ’ing – once unthinkable – as career option

    Standing behind Naif’s control tower with headphones around her neck, Saudi DJ Leen Naif segues smoothly between pop hits and club tracks for a crowd of business school graduates noshing on sushi. The possibility that DJs would be welcomed at public events, let alone that many would be women, is something “we didn’t expect” until recently, said a Saudi DJ known as Vinyl Mode, Mohammed Nassar.


  • Britain's flag.

    UK businesses expect zero growth in next 3 months as living costs surge: Report

    British businesses do not expect any growth over the next three months, as a surging cost of living squeezes consumer demand, a monthly survey showed on Sunday. The Confederation of British Industry said members reported above-average growth in the three months to the end of July – slightly faster than in the three months to June – but expect this to peter out in the months ahead.


  • Sri Lanka president Ranil Wickremesinghe.

    Sri Lanka’s Wickremesinghe says IMF accord pushed back after unrest 

    Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe said on Saturday that an agreement with the International Monetary Fund has been pushed back to September due to the unrest over the past weeks, the Associated Press reported. Wickremesinghe was appointed after former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, under whom the discussions with IMF began in April, was ousted on July 13.


  • Supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr, protesting against a rival bloc's nomination for prime minister, gather inside Iraq's parliament in the capital Baghdad's high-security Green Zone.

    Tea, hot meals at Iraq parliament as protesters settle in

    Volunteers shuttled back and forth in fleets of pickups to Iraq’s normally secure Green Zone Saturday as protesters who occupied parliament earlier in the day settled in for the long haul. Mercurial Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr, a former militia leader whose bloc emerged from October elections as the biggest parliamentary faction, has a devoted following among Iraq’s Shiite-majority community. “Why is there no (mains) electricity in Iraq?” Zeinab Hussein asked. “Where is all the oil money going?”