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Wildlife Still In Official China Event Menus, Key Politician Pushes For A Vegetarian Diet

A member of China's political body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) proposed following a vegetarian diet in official receptions

China

A member of China's political body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) proposed following a vegetarian diet in the official receptions of the body's meetings for the next two sessions. Xu Jingkun suggested that in spite of the Chinese Government's ban on wildlife consumption, wildlife was still available in official reception meals highlighting the scare that these could pose especially since the country just wheeled out of the global COVID-19 pandemic as was looking towards a likely second wave. 

Read: WHO Says 'wet Markets Shouldn't Close' Despite Recognizing Wuhan's Role In COVID Outbreak

Read: China: Huanan Seafood Market Believed To Be Linked To SARS-like Virus

Even as the Chinese government announced its decision to ban wildlife consumption, a crackdown on its wet markets is a longer battle. A few days ago World Health Organization (WHO) scientist Dr Peter Ben Embarek stated that while the Wuhan market had a role in the novel coronavirus outbreak, such markets should not be shut globally.

In a press briefing, WHO food safety and animal diseases expert Peter Ben Embarek said live animal markets are critical to providing food and livelihoods for millions of people globally and that authorities should focus on improving them rather than outlawing them -- even though they can sometimes spark epidemics in humans. 

He said reducing the risk of disease transmission from animals to humans in these often overcrowded markets could be addressed in many cases by improving hygiene and food safety standards, including separating live animals from humans. 

The 2019 Coronavirus identified as SARS-nCoV is a new strain of the coronaviruses that have their likely origins from bats. Just like the SARS outbreak in China back in 2003, the Coronavirus Outbreak also began from a 'wet' seafood market (which sells both live and dead animals). The food market where China's deadly coronavirus surfaced was a smorgasbord of exotic wildlife ranging from wolf pups to species linked to previous pandemics such as civets. It sold animal-based products including foxes, snakes, crocodiles, rats, peacocks. 

After originating from China’s “wet markets”, the coronavirus has now claimed 3,22,861 lives worldwide as of May 20. According to the tally by international news agency, the pandemic has infected at least 48,93,195 people. 

Read: Trump Defends Taking Hydroxychloroquine As 'line Of Defence' Despite Alleged Health Risks

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