WHO calls for stopping the sale of live wild animals in food markets | News on the coronavirus pandemic

The United Nations health agency calls for the ban to prevent the emergence of new diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls for an end to the sale of live wild mammals in food markets to prevent the emergence of new diseases.

WHO said on Tuesday that while traditional markets play a central role in providing food and livelihoods to large populations, banning the sale of live wild mammals could protect the health of market workers and consumers. buyers.

He said some of the earliest known cases of COVID-19 were linked to a traditional food wholesale market in Wuhan, China, with many initial patient stall owners, market employees or regular visitors to the market.

The origins of the coronavirus over a year ago have been the source of intense speculation, much of which centered on the likelihood that it was carried by bats and transmitted to humans via a sold intermediate species. as food or medicine in traditional Chinese wet markets.

The provisional guidance was developed in collaboration with the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).

“The guide calls on countries to suspend the sale of live wild caught mammals in food markets as an emergency measure,” the WHO 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, ”he said.

“Traditional markets, where live animals are kept, slaughtered and dressed, pose a particular risk of transmitting pathogens to workers and customers,” the guide says.

He also called on governments to close sections of food markets selling live wild mammals unless adequate risk assessments are in place.

To date, there are more than 136 million cases of the coronavirus, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University in the United States. More than 2.9 people have died, while 77.8 million have recovered from the virus.

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