mandag 31. mai 2021

Covid investigators must interview Wuhan stall owners, says virologist

A leading scientist has called for stallholders at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan to be interviewed in any further investigation of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prof Eddie Holmes has joined a growing chorus of voices calling for increased efforts to identify the source of the outbreak. The US president, Joe Biden, has ordered the US intelligence community to intensify its scrutiny of the origins of coronavirus, as the theory that the virus might have come from a lab in Wuhan gains traction. He revealed that two of the 18 intelligence agencies were leaning towards the animal link and one more toward the lab theory.

It is still thought by many that the market in Wuhan is at the centre of the Covid breakout and that the virus jumped from an animal species to humans. On 31 January, a team of scientists led by the World Health Organization visited the market. However, according to their report only two stall operators were interviewed, and neither was engaged in trading wildlife.

Holmes, an expert in the evolution and emergence of infectious diseases at the University of Sydney, who saw live wildlife being traded at the Huanan market in 2014, said: “As wildlife present the greatest risk, this should have been the priority in the WHO’s investigation of the market.