Wet markets sell fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as distinguished from “dry markets” that sell durable goods.
Washington| A group of top US lawmakers have prompted China to urgently shut down all of its active wet markets as they have the potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic disease.
Fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as differentiated from “dry markets” that sell durable goods such as fabric and electronics are called wet markets.
Since the floors are constantly wet due to the spraying of fresh produce and cleaning of meat and seafood stalls, these markets are referred to as “wet”.
The Senators, in a letter to the Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai, wrote to urgently request that China at the earliest close all working wet markets which pose humans to health threats through the introduction of zoonotic disease into the human population.
A zoonotic disease is a sickness that can be transferred from an animal to a human, like the novel coronavirus.
The senators said that the director of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, has acknowledged that “the origin of the novel coronavirus is the wildlife sold illegally in a Wuhan (China) seafood market.”
The central Chinese city of Wuhan specifically a wet market in the city is considered to be the source of the COVID-19 pandemic that began in December last year, crossing from animals to humans.
“It is well documented that wet markets in China have been the source of a number of worldwide health problems, and their operation should cease immediately so as to protect the people of China and the international community from further health risks,” the senators wrote.
China had issued an official timeline last week which said that the novel coronavirus was first discovered in Wuhan in late December where it was recorded as “pneumonia of unknown cause”.
The central Chinese city of Wuhan ended a two-month lockdown on Wednesday.
More than 50,000 people in the city were infected with the virus, and over 2,500 of them died, about 80% of all deaths in China, according to official figures.
(Inputs From PTI)