Did corruption trigger the coronavirus outbreak?

The latest lethal strain of coronavirus arose at a wild animal meat market in Wuhan, China. This is according to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The market, now closed, was home to stalls selling everything from civet cats, snakes, rats, beavers, foxes and wolf cubs, to peacocks and pangolins. Early investigations pointed to a person that ate a snake that ate a bat infected with the virus. Now the latest suspect in the investigations is the pangolin. Just like SARS and Ebola, these outbreaks start in the murky waters between legal and illegal trade, where bushmeat and dodgy packages travel long distances on commercial routes, aided by bribes and legal loopholes. So corruption could well have triggered the coronavirus epidemic.

Hygiene and veterinary controls are meant to stop the transmission of inter-species diseases and to prevent diseases from crossing borders. But the big problem is that these cannot be applied to smuggled wildlife and wildlife goods. They are also not enforced in the places where these goods are traded, often alongside legal wildlife. Corruption plays a big role in this. Offered a bribe, inspectors are quick to turn a blind eye. This could well be why inspectors gave the dodgy market in Wuhan a clean bill of health late in 2019. Get the full story at https://fcpablog.com/2020/01/30/did-corruption-cause-the-deadly-coronavirus-outbreak/

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