COVID-19 may have spread fast at Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market in China, but the virus may not have originated there.
The seafood market was linked to an early cluster of Covid-19 cases, but scientists are yet to come to an unequivocal conclusion regarding the role it played in the contagion.
After several delays, a team of WHO experts had visited the market on January 31, 2021.
Vladimir Dedkov, a member of the World Health Organisation (WHO) expert team, said: “There is no evidence that the virus originated there but hypothetically, there are all conditions for the spread of the virus there.
“Of course, it was important for our mission to visit this facility, talk to our colleagues and see how everything is organised there.
Public access to the market has been restricted since it was shut at the beginning of 2020.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology has collected extensive virus samples, leading to unproven allegations that it may have caused the original outbreak by leaking the virus into the surrounding community. China has strongly denied that possibility and has promoted unproven theories that the virus may have originated elsewhere.
Dedkov also refuted the theory of a virus leakage while visiting the Wuhan Institute of Virology along with nine other WHO experts on Wednesday, 3 February.
“The laboratory is perfectly equipped, it is hard for me to imagine that something could have leaked from there, he said.