Declaring the novel coronavirus outbreak that has infected over 1,000 people by now as “national epidemic”, China has issued a blanket ban on the wildlife trade, South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
Health authorities, in a statement, have linked exotic animals sold at a seafood market in the central city of Wuhan to the new coronavirus, which has killed 80 people and infected more than 2,500 others within China, and spread around the world.
‘The ban goes into effect immediately and will continue until the end of the national epidemic,’ it added.
In addition, wildlife breeding centres will be quarantined, regulations strictly enforced, and the public warned not to eat wild game products, according to the orders backed by three government agencies.
‘Consumers should fully understand the health risks of eating wild animals, avoid ‘game meat’, and eat healthily,’ the agencies – the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and National Forestry and Grassland Administration – said in a statement on Sunday.
About five million residents left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Spring Festival holiday, mayor Zhou Xianwang revealed on Sunday, as health officials warned the virus’ ability to spread was getting stronger.
There were about nine million people remaining in the city after the lockdown, Zhou told a press conference.
Of the 2,700 people currently under observation in the city, about 1,000 were likely to be confirmed cases. As of Sunday, Wuhan had 533 confirmed cases.uni