This time of the month, last year, we were hearing news of some virus breaking out in parts of China and the world was baffled looking into it. The next thing we knew, all us were a part of a global pandemic, with our activities coming to a halt and locked inside the 4 walls of our houses. A year has passed by and well, we’re still at our homes, most activities are still at halt and masks and distancing have become our new normal. Even though every body had a different experience with this pandemic, one thing that was common to us all was the curses we sent to the Corona virus’ way. A never seen before, heard before or experienced before virus that changed the whole world’s course had a very confusing advent.
So, on behalf of everybody, where did COVID come from? Some said it was because some people in China’s Wuhan consumed bats, some said it was Wuhan’s seafood market while some went ahead with theories of it being created in a lab. However, as for us common people, we’ve refrained ourselves from believing anything that rumoured in the market, until proven by some legitimate sources.
And the purpose of the coming sections is to answer that very question, as developed by the WHO’s investigating team. Scientists from the World Health Organisation wrapped up a large investigation probe in China, claiming to have found some important clues about the role of Wuhan’s seafood market in the outbreak of the virus. The 14 member group of zoologists working in the World Health Organisation sponsored mission explained how they worked in close proximity with experts in China and visited key hot spots and research centers to find out what exactly happened behind the scenes of this global outbreak. More than the origin, scientists have been concerned about knowing how SARS-CoV-2 virus spread explosively in the Wuhan region, so as to ensure the next one is stopped even before its advent.
The main purpose of this study was to try and understand why and how these things occur so that any such incident cannot take place in the future. The emergence of any such pandemic would mean a global economic failure and devastating deaths in the world, which seems like a dark future to even imagine. So as much as we can understand and avoid the advance of any such event, we would want to do that. The study also involved identification of the route to the human population, which may involve a probable study of role of an intermediate host.
Note that a number of theories that rooted out saying the virus was lab made came from the fact that there has been no proper presence of a significant link between the direct transmission of virus between a bat and the human. Also note that the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab has been collecting and analysing bat-borne viruses for more than a decade now. So the speculation of the virus escaping from the bio-containment laboratory is much valid. The team of investigating scientists, in an attempt to answer the speculation, asked Shi Zhengli, the head of department at Wuhan Institute of Virology, about their research and earlier known corona virus cases, since the disease is bat-borne. However, a number of reports explaining how China has made it difficult to understand the origin of the virus, implying that the answers expected were vaguely given and not thoroughly informed.
The team of investigating scientists have tried to unveil the whole key lines of the investigation about the virus’ origin and transmission by digging up some information, looking and analysing it and getting some key results out of it, along with Chinese teams trying to work out the behind the scenes. So, it can be fairly claimed that the work has been collaborative with respect to both the host country China and investing party sent by the World Health Organisation. After all, we fought the pandemic by coming together, right? It has always been a collective effort. The Chinese counterparts have helped the team of scientists get in contact with the concerned people, visit places and analysing key information from the data collected at each of these places.
The key areas covered during the investigation were basically divided into 3 sections- the potential involvement of animals, the epidemiology of the disease, and the findings from environmental sampling. To help identify information patterns across patients and wildlife, genetic sequencing data is being used. This directly pints at certain reports that came out after the investigators’ trip to the Huanan fresh produce market of Central Wuhan. This market is basically a wet market that sells mostly seafood, and meat that includes freshly prepared wildlife. This area has also been of key focus especially because the first few cases of the virus were identified in the shoppers and workers of the market, dropping in hints of connection between the wet market of Central Wuhan and the dreadful corona virus. So, as mentioned, the key report explaining the actual origin would basically cover all the three areas’ findings into one root cause.
Reports explain how viruses are passed along as convoluted rivers of emergency and this could be pointed out by continuous information we discovered since the virus first came into being. People’s old utensils and other stuff in the market of Wuhan led to some traces of the virus and various useful conclusions, which the scientists were unflinchingly able to trace back to the fact that for every positive sick person, there were some asymptomatic ones which weren’t really put in hospitals back then. But one thing that for certainly can be said at this point after all the linkages to the supply market of the Wuhan’s central market, all the claims about the virus originating from the lab can be safely dismissed.
With more than 2.3 reported deaths worldwide, we are ready to say goodbye to the virus that gave us all new meanings to life and changed our normal, to the ‘new’ normal.