CHINA TO DEMOLISH WUHAN MARKET WHERE COVID PANDEMIC STARTED
A market in the central China city of Wuhan, where many people were confirmed to have contracted the novel coronavirus in the initial stage of the outbreak in late 2019, is expected to be demolished, the nation's media reported late on Thursday, Kyodo News reported.
The possible move would draw criticism from the international community likely to view it as an attempt by the Chinese Communist-led government to thwart efforts by other countries to identify the origins of the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, foreign affairs experts say.
It remains to be seen when the Huanan market will be dismantled, according to China's media.
The market, where wild animals such as bats, pangolins and snakes were sold alongside seafood, has been closed since January 2020 and has already been sanitized thoroughly by Chinese authorities.
In late January this year, experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) carried out a one-hour investigation into the market and concluded there was no clear evidence of the virus having originated there.
Other team members said the virus most likely mutated from the coronaviruses among bats in Yunnan wildlife farms, where bats and pangolins mingle. The closest relatives of the COVID-19 virus are found in Yunnan wildlife farms.