China Detects Large Quantity of Virus at Wuhan Seafood Market

Chinese health authorities announced on Monday that 2,744 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus, including 461 in critical condition, had been reported in the country by the end of Sunday, January 26. 

The pneumonia situation had resulted in 80 deaths.

Experts of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have successfully isolated the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in the environmental samples of a seafood market in Wuhan, indicating that the virus stems from wild animals on sale at the market.

Thirty-three of the 585 environmental samples collected from the Wuhan's Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market were found to contain the nucleic acid of the novel coronavirus, according to the National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention under the China CDC.

Earlier reports quoted experts as saying that the geographical distribution of the cases indicated a close relationship between the epidemic and the seafood market.

Experts of the institute took the samples on Jan. 1 and Jan. 12 on instruction of the Chinese CDC.

Thirty-one of the 33 positive samples were collected from the western zone of the market, where booths of wildlife trading concentrated. The result suggests that the novel coronavirus outbreak is highly relevant to the trading of the wild animals, experts said.

Chinese authorities announced Sunday that trading of wild animals will be suspended nationwide to curb the spreading of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).

The ban will become effective immediately and shall not be lifted until the epidemic is declared over, said a joint statement issued by the State Administration for Market Regulation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs and the National Forestry and Grassland Administration.

The decision came after the geographical distribution of infection cases in central China's Wuhan, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, indicated a close relationship between the outbreak and illegal sales of wildlife in a market.

Any form of wildlife trade will be strictly prohibited on platforms including marketplaces, supermarkets, dining places and e-commerce sites, according to the statement.

Authorities ordered all sites raising wild animals to be quarantined and forbade the transportation and selling of wild animals from these sites.

Any businesses and operators breaching the ban shall be shut down. And if the violations are serious enough, the suspects shall be handed over to police for criminal investigation, the statement said.

Local governments should enhance supervision to prevent violations to the ban, and the public should be fully aware of the health risks in consuming wild animals, it said.

The National Medical Products Administration (NMPA) approved four new products for test of new coronavirus Sunday.

The products, including reagent test kits and sequencing system of the virus, are expected to speed up the diagnosis process and further expand the supply capacity of virus detection products.

Meanwhile, the NMPA urged provincial drug regulators to intensify the supervision on production to ensure product safety.

The administration said it will continue implementing special approval procedures for drugs and medical devices to contain the outbreak.

Source: Xinhua

Editor: Crystal H

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