China announces plans to permanently ban wildlife trade
On 4 February, China announced plans to permanently ban wildlife trade and to increase supervision around wet markets as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Initially government officials placed a temporary ban on wildlife trade.
The current strain of coronavirus allegedly originated at a wildlife market in Wuhan in the Chinese province of Hubei. Wet markets are notorious for selling live and dead animals, with few rules and regulations.
According to Business Insider the Politburo Standing Committee, which is the most powerful group of the Chinese Communist Party, announced that it will ‘severely crack down’ on illegal wildlife markets and trade as a result of the outbreak.
‘It is necessary to strengthen market supervision, resolutely ban and severely crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade, and control major public health risks from the source,’ the committee said in a statement.
According to the New York Times, the national health authorities have announced that the death toll has risen to 636 people in China and the total number of confirmed cases is 31,161.