As the Coronavirus continues to spread in other countries, it may seem like that it has stopped almost entirely in the country where it started. I stress „seem“, because the media in China is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, and for an authoritarian nation, the image is the most important thing. However, despite the apparent success of China to contain the virus – at least in its own nation, after it had slept for three weeks and silenced doctors -, there are now many Chinese official who spread the rumour that US troops have brought it to Wuhan. The question which one may ask him- or herself is:
Why would they do it?
Some of you may have heard about the wet markets in China; on these markets, natives sell different types of animal meat. Exotic animals like bats as well. However, what is problematic are the conditions under which the animals are held – often in small cages and close on top of another. This makes it easier for a virus to wander from one animal to another, like it was the case with H1N1 pandemic in 2009 which may have originated from China as well. This time, the virus needed an additional intermediate host. Currently, it points to pangolins being the link between bats and humans. As it is explained in this scientific article. The most important part, at least in my opinion, is:
„The researchers identified protein sequences in sick animals‘ lungs that were 91% identical to the human virus‘ proteins. Moreover, the receptor binding domain of the spike protein from the pangolin coronavirus had only five amino acid differences from SARS-CoV-2, compared with 19 differences between the human and bat viral proteins. This evidence points to the pangolin as the most likely intermediate host for the new coronavirus, but additional intermediate hosts could be possible, the researchers say.“
Next to its importance to find the origin of the novell Corona, it also shows that a consequence of the consumption of a pangolin could be the infection with SARS-CoV-2. These animals, which are exotic, are sold on wet markets – as I mentioned previously. Of course, most Chinese do not consume them, it’s only a tiny but powerful minority. And unless they are either prohibited or very strictly regulated (i.e. some animals, especially those which are endangered, shouldn’t be sold or eaten), it’s very likely that in 10 years a new virus breaks out. This also means that the Chinese government has to act on the minority which threatens the vast majority – both of China and the rest of the world.
Covid-19 may have originated from China, and pangolins are possibly the link between bats and humans.
The wet markets in China operate under unhygienic and unsafe conditions; they either have to be prohibited or strictly regulated (-> the regulations must also be enforced).
Chinese officials spread rumours about US-Troops having brought the novell Corona to China, but not citing any evidence to reinforce their accusations.