In many countries, especially in Asia and Africa, so-called ‘wet markets’ are part of their daily lives. But ever since the current outbreak of the coronavirus in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the focus has been on these markets.

The ‘wet markets’ are named after the floor where they are located, which is always soaked with ice used by shopkeepers to keep the food they sell fresh. It is also because they use water to clean the waste from dead and live animals from their stalls.

The problem is precisely that, sometimes they also sell wild animals and it was from one of them, a bat, that the coronavirus emerged, although it is still unknown which animal species acted as a ‘bridge’ between the bats and humans.

For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) is very concerned about the upcoming reopening of many of these markets in China, which had been closed since the outbreak of the pandemic.

The WHO is joined by the voices of various animal rights organisations, which are demanding a worldwide ban on the trade in wild animals, not only to maintain the species, but also for health reasons.


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