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World Health Organisation supports reopening of Chinese wet markets

Exotic animal ‘wet markets’, believed to be the origin of the coronavirus, are reopening in China with the World Health Organisation’s blessing.

The WHO’s decision to support the reopening of wet markets has bolstered speculation the Chinese government has undue influence over the United Nations agency.

Professor John Dwyer, an immunologist at UNSW and public health expert who spearheaded Australia’s fight against HIV/AIDS, says it’s unlikely the markets will remain shut for long, despite the risks they pose.

“It’s such a culturally important thing for some people in China that I’ve got my doubts.”

He tells Deborah Knight the wet markets are notorious for spreading new and deadly diseases.

“When you bring wild exotic animals in close contact with humans… of course it’s going to be possible that the viruses will mutate, and pass from animals into humans and cause havoc.

“It is staggering to think that’s going on.”

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