Sunday, April 12, 2020

Wet markets in China's Wuhan struggle to survive coronavirus blow

A resident (R) wearing a face mask buys food from a grocery stall through a small window opened on barriers which have been built to separate residential buildings from a street in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province and China's epicentre of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, April 12, 2020. REUTERS/Aly Song

By Thomas Suen, Brenda Goh

The virus, which has infected 1.6 million people and killed 106,000 in 214 countries, is believed to have originated late last year among wild animals on sale in a seafood market in Wuhan that has been closed and boarded up since January.

That has prompted heavy scrutiny for wet markets, a key facet of China’s daily life, even though only a few sell wildlife. Some U.S. officials have called for them, and others across Asia, to be closed.

“This is a person-to-person virus, no matter where you are,” said Jin Qinzhi, a vegetable and meat vendor at a wet market, when asked what she thought about demands for their closure.

“Even the supermarket is full of people. Here people are more scattered. As long as we take precautionary measures, and we pay attention to disinfecting, it should be fine.”  Read more >>