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COVID-19 origins search: China denies WHO entry to bat caves

China has denied the World Effectively being Group entry to bat caves and wildlife farming areas in a diagram six hours west of Wuhan — because it emerged that nearby wet markets were banned from selling are residing animals steady days before Beijing acknowledged a new virus had been detected, essentially essentially based on a file. 

WHO scientists occupy been making an try to entry a entire bunch of caves that non-public bats in Enshi prefecture in Hubei province — west of the Chinese language metropolis the set COVID-19 first emerged, The Washington Put up stated Monday. 

The scientists also desire to overview nearby wildlife farming areas that, sooner than the pandemic, were identified to breed thousands of wild animals. 

Pipistrelle bat (Pipistrellus pipistrellus) flying on wooden ceiling of home in darkness. 


Scientists imagine those animals would possibly perchance occupy doubtlessly been an intermediate host for the virus to spread from bats to folks — and argue that investigating the farms is a key step to figuring out the origins of the pandemic, the file stated. 

Researchers are probing natural transmission as neatly as to the thought that COVID-19 escaped from a Chinese language lab

One doable thought coming up from natural transmission would possibly perchance perchance be that the virus used to be handed from a bat to an intermediate host, equivalent to a farm animal that went on to be equipped at a wet market. 

China has denied the World Effectively being Group entry to bat caves to encounter the origins of COVID-19 (iStock)

Beijing, meanwhile, has many times claimed that the pandemic originated someplace else. 

But essentially essentially based on local Chinese language media, wet markets in the Enshi diagram were banned from selling are residing animals in December 2019 — steady eight days before the Chinese language authorities publicly acknowledged that a new virus had been detected at a Wuhan wet market. 


Six wet markets in Enshi were closed by March 2020 because the pandemic took maintain globally. It is aloof unclear why the markets were shut down so early. 

A Wuhan market present chain source told The Put up that some wild animals equipped in Wuhan sooner than the pandemic were sourced from Hubei province, at the side of from Enshi. 

The caves in Enshi are also identified to occupy human foot website online website online visitors, and some wildlife farms which occupy since been shut down would possibly perchance perchance be found a few mile from the doorway to the caves. 

A spokesperson for the Chinese language Embassy in Washington would possibly perchance perchance not confirm if bats or farm-raised wild animals in Enshi were ever examined for the virus. 

Scientists imagine the caves would possibly perchance perchance doubtlessly existing a pathway for a mode the virus spread from bats to varied animals, or folks, before reaching Wuhan — but nothing is concrete because of the Beijing’s refusal to allow entry. 


Michael Worobey, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Arizona, told The Put up that virologists must discover more about what viruses are circulating in the Enshi cave bats. 

“That form of proximity of farmed animals and bats that is likely to be carrying coronaviruses is exactly the form of thing we scare about,” Worobey stated. 

This article first regarded in the New York Put up.

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