US urge China to shut down its wet market amid zoonotic disease fear
Beijing : The US lawmakers have urged China authorities to shut down their wet markets amid fear of coronavirus and potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic disease.
A wet market mainly sells fresh meat, fish, produce, and other perishable goods as distinguished from "dry markets". It has got name like this because the floor of the market is constantly wet due to cleaning of meat and spraying of fresh produce.
"We write to urgently request that China immediately close all operating wet markets that have a potential to expose humans to health risks through the introduction of zoonotic disease into the human population," wrote the senators, in a letter to Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai.
What is zoonotic disease?
When a disease is spread to humans via animals, it is called zoonotic disease.
Gao Fu, the director of China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has acknowledged that "the origin of the new coronavirus is the wildlife sold illegally in a Wuhan (China) seafood market," they said.
The source of current coronavirus pandemic has also its origins from one of such wet markets.
"It is well documented that wet markets in China have been the source of a number of worldwide health problems, and their operation should cease immediately so as to protect the Chinese people and the international community from additional health risks," the senators wrote.
"Therefore, we are urging China to shut down all wet markets that allow for interactions between humans and wild animals that pose public health risks," the lawmakers concluded.