After the lockdown in China, which lasted for two months, was lifted, Huanan market in Wuhan, has restarted operations and is selling wild animals again.
Local authorities have allowed the re-opening of the animal market which is thought to be the original source of the novel coronavirus.
The market returned to the business on Monday 30th March 2020, after the country reported no new cases of the disease for six consecutive days. Thousands of shoppers returned to the market after the lockdown regulation was lifted.
The wild animal market usually sells bats – the animal currently believed to be the original host of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 – along with scorpions, rats, dogs, and cats. Some of the wild animals sold there are intended to be used in traditional medicine, according to investigations conducted by The Mail on Sunday.
Rabbits and ducks are slaughtered on a dirty stone floor, while dogs and cats wait in cages to be sold as food. In another animal market in the south of Dongguan City, a medicinal salesperson was back in business and advertising bat meat.
Conditions in the wild animal market in Wuhan, where different types of animals interact with humans on narrow and enclosed lands, support such jumps of viruses across species. It has led the Chinese government to close down the market in January 2020 and it later prohibited wild animal trade and consumption in February 2020.
China previously isolated the region, a course of action that eventually helped reduce the level of COVID-19 infections after more than 3,000 deaths.
COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, is believed to have been transferred to humans from bats. The first known cases involved people who had been in a market in Wuhan.
Image: Grid Health