Wet markets an unfair virus ‘victim’
A new report out of China has claimed wet seafood markets have become "more like a victim" of the coronavirus pandemic.
The report from the state-controlled Global Times quote China's top disease expert, who says the virus may have existed "long before" it was first detected in Wuhan in December.
The article cites Gao Fu, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), who says he wasn't able to find any animal trace of the coronavirus at the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, where the first cluster of virus cases was believed to have originated.
In December a cluster of 41 cases of coronavirus were reported in Wuhan, two thirds of which had been in direct contact with the Huanan seafood market.
The publication also states: "Wuhan was the place that first reported the epidemic, but that does not make it the source of the virus".
China's state run media has ramped up rhetoric against the US and other countries in recent months, regularly taking aim at specific media reports. On Monday, a cartoon depicted Australia as a servant lapdog to the US.
The Global Times article also accuses "politicians in the US and other countries" of spreading rumours and "fabricating stories" about the origin of the coronavirus.
"At first, we assumed the seafood market might have the virus, but now the market is more like a victim," CDC director Mr Fu is quoted as saying. "The novel coronavirus had existed long before."
The report goes on to say no animal samples of the virus were detected when researchers visited the market in January - and researchers were only able to detect the virus in environmental samples - including sewage.
The report went to say: "virus tracing is a serious scientific endeavour that should be studied by scientists and medical experts based on science".
It quoted Mr Gao, saying the novel coronavirus "overturns much of what people have known and many of its patterns are beyond our cognition".
On Monday, China Daily published a cartoon depicting Australia as a servant on a donkey, taking orders from the US.
"Yes man to one, liar to all," the cartoon was captioned, which is a reference to novel Don Quixote.
Originally published as Wet markets an unfair virus 'victim'