Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology
Coronavirus: Revenge of the pangolin?
Chinese scientists on February 7, 2020, said they had found the ‘missing link’ for the transfer of the novel coronavirus from bats to humans: the pangolin.
Scientists at the South China Agricultural University in Guangdong province tested more than 1,000 samples from wild animals. They found the genome sequences of viruses found in pangolins to be 99 per cent identical to those on coronavirus patients, according to media reports.
According to latest studies, the novel coronavirus is carried by bats. However, to jump from bats to humans, it needs another host. According to the Chinese study, the pangolin could be that host.
The most trafficked animal in the world, the pangolin is particularly prized in China nad other parts of Asia for its scales and meat.
However, other scientists have advised caution, stating that the results of the Chinese study should be reviewed by scientists across the world first.
China to continue crackdown on illegal wildlife trade
China will continue its clampdown on the illegal wildlife trade in its territory, a state official said on February 8, 2020, amid reports that have pointed to wild animals as being the source of the novel coronavirus.
Yang Hongcan, an official with the State Administration for Market Regulation, said China had already suspended the trading of wild animals nationally to curb the spread of coronavirus, a report by Xinhua said.
The official added that from January 21 to February 6, Chinese market regulators paid 1.5 million inspection visits to markets across the country. Over 3,700 markets and operators have been closed for rectification, while more than 16,000 breeding sites have been cordoned off, controlled and isolated.
We are a voice to you; you have been a support to us. Together we build journalism that is independent, credible and fearless. You can further help us by making a donation. This will mean a lot for our ability to bring you news, perspectives and analysis from the ground so that we can make change together.
India Environment Portal Resources :
Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.