Finally, after conducted an examination, the experts from the World Health Organisation have found evidence that will bring them closer to determining how the coronavirus pandemic started in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
“It’s the beginning of hopefully a really deep understanding of what happened so we can stop the next one,” said New York-based zoologist Peter Daszak, who is part of the team who say they have uncovered “important clues” about a Wuhan seafood market’s role in the outbreak.
He said that the investigation will settle once and for all the question of whether the virus might have originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a maximum bio-containment laboratory studying bat-borne coronaviruses.
He says his team found important clues about the role that the Huanan wet market in central Wuhan played in the pandemic that has so far cost over two million lives worldwide.
While the food market was closed and deep-cleaned within days of the epidemic being identified, the expert said “it’s still pretty intact”.
He added, “People left in a hurry and they left equipment, they left utensils of what was going on, and that’s what we looked at. We know now what we didn’t know then – that for every sick case, there were others that were asymptomatic or difficult to distinguish from a cold or cough.”
But, Mr. Daszak chose not to reveal what these “clues” are.
He said it is important to identify how many asymptomatic cases there could have been in the disease’s earliest stages, and where they might have come from – and whether, as most scientists now believe, the first cases were in people who had close contact with wild animals.