The wet market of Wuhan in China is the suspected source of the Covid-19 pandemic. Wuhan, a sprawling business city in the Hubei Province of Central China is now infamous as the original epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak. Media reported the case of a shrimp seller at Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Market, to be the ‘Patient Zero’, the first victim of Covid-19 pandemic. Following epidemiological investigations and extensive surveillance, the Chinese authorities shut the wet market temporarily, lending weight to suspicions surrounding wet markets’ link to the Covid-19 outbreak. Amidst the global furore against the wet markets, the media published reports that China reopened its wet markets in Wuhan as the number of Covid-19 cases dropped, strictly prohibiting media personnels from capturing any image of these markets. However, this is not the first time the poorly regulated wet markets in China are in the spotlight.
What are Wet Markets?
Traditional wet markets are a part of the ‘popular local culture’ in many Asian countries. The wet markets are places ‘where wild and often poached animals are packed together’ in filthy conditions for trade, thus becoming a ‘breeding ground for disease and an incubator for a multitude of viruses to evolve’ (White 2020). These wet markets offer the sale (legal and illegal) of a wide variety of ‘live fauna’ with culinary and medicinal properties. Illegal wildlife trade has been identified as the fourth largest illicit transnational activity in the world and the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime has estimated the global wildlife trafficking industry to be worth between 7 billion and 23 billion USD annually (Louis 2020).
Thus, humans dealing with these ‘live fauna’ come in contact not just with the domesticated/commonly known animals but also with a baffling range of unusual wild animals, whose zoonotic history and human-animal contact outcomes are poorly understood. Also, as pointed out by conservation specialists like Christian Walzer, executive director of the US based Wildlife Conservation Society, these wet markets often lead to ‘stashing and mixing of all these species together in a very small area, with secretions and urine mixed up together,’ a dangerously unhygienic practice that might lead to the transmission of the zoonotic viruses inhabiting in these animals...to the human beings dealing with them (White 2020).
Dan Wootton of the The Daily Examiner describes the gruesome reality of these wet markets operating in China, “A smorgasbord of dogs being boiled alive, bats served on sticks like lollipops, kittens slaughtered, rats fried and giant snakes carved up for human consumption, with the blood splattering everywhere,” chances of cross-contamination a high possibility (Wootton 2020). The Daily Examiner also reports the presence and sale of wolf cubs, turtles, crocodiles, hedgehogs, bears—an unusual and notorious stock for any market!
The Wet Market link—sars and Covid-19
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WILD MEAT AND WET MARKETS: A GLOBAL DIALOGUE
Wet markets operate in most Asian countries including India. China reported its wet markets as the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan and also more recently in Beijing. These wet markets, a traditional part of popular local culture in Asian countries, are increasingly becoming a cause of concern for the international community and health practitioners across the globe. This article attempts to understand how global authorities and their Asian partners are looking to regulate these infamous wet markets to significantly lower the risk of viral and other pathogenic load from these unhygienic wet markets.
SEA WALL IN THE MALDIVES AND ITS SUSTAINABILITY
The Small Island developing states are particularly vulnerable to the peril of climate change. Sea level rise, increase in sea surface temperature, high incidences of drought and flood are some of the vulnerabilities that loom large over such island states.The republic of Maldives is one such example, which has been publicly advocating for the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Despite being one of the least contributors to such emissions, the Maldives faces the highest impact of global warming. Being one of the lowest-lying island nations, it has been undertaking various steps to curb the egregious impacts of environmental catastrophes.One of the response measures taken by the Maldives is the construction of seawalls. This article discusses this, while accenting the drawbacks and benefits associated with the approach.
TO PLUCK AT WILL: FRUIT TREES IN COMMON PROPERTY
Despite many governmental initiatives, malnutrition in India remains a major health challenge. There is a marked deficit of fruits in the diet of most Indians, consuming much lower than what is recommended by the World health organisation (Who). One of the reasons behind this is the high price of fruits and thus its inequitable access. As we prepare ourselves to live in a world marred by COVID-19 and a shrinking Indian economy, we must think of new ideas to manage access to food, especially micro nutrient rich fruits. This paper explores the possibility of planting endemic fruit trees in public spaces like roadsides and parks, that can help in increasing the consumption of fruits amongst the poor. It also attempts to analyse whether this can serve as a long term solution to bridge the gap between fruit production and consumption in India.
RESPONSIVE URBAN PLANNING: COVID-19 A TURNING POINT FOR REAL CHANGE IN INDIAN CITIES
The global challenge of COVID-19 is still unfurling. States are grappling to control its remorseless spread with varied success and its impact both on long and short-term scales are still being understood. However, a distinct urban bias in its spread across the globe and universal response of lockdown and social distancing for its control has brought pertinent questions to the fore. Urban planning and the future of our cities in terms of urban life and city form therefore needs to be revisited. In India, the exodus of migrant workers from its large cities has added yet another dimension to this challenge.
PAUSE AND REBOOT
REFLECTIONS ON ECONOMY, SOCIETY AND POLITY DURING COVID-19 GLOBAL PANDEMIC AND LESSONS FOR INDIA
Migrants & borders: My wishlist in a post-Covid-19 world
Former Professor of Economics and Education, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. email@example.com.
Covid-19: Politics Of Knowledge, Public Health And The World Order
In the present era of a knowledge society, the world order will be shaped more than ever before by the politics of knowledge. In the post-CoVId world, public health knowledge is likely to be a significant contributor. This article briefly discusses the various contemporary public health approaches evident within the discipline: global health, community medicine and critical public health. Then it goes on to analyse country level policy approaches to the COVID-19 pandemic, delineating a tentative four-category typology, based on available information. Finally, it sets out the possible outcome indicators that should be used to assess the national responses.
Inequalities in Access to Academic Spaces
Experiences of students from the socially excluded groups in higher education in India
Understanding Caste and Class - Categories and Measurement
The caste has been a unique social institution in India. It has also emerged in a new form after the mandalisation of caste in the early 1990s resulting in the extension of reservation to Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in government jobs and also in admissions to colleges and universities. The relative size of population of various caste groups particularly of the OBCs is also a matter of debate. Census does not provide population data on OBCs, however, it is possible to assess it from nationally representative sample surveys. Further, the correspondence between caste categories and class has been a matter of debate. This paper presents an assessment of class within caste categories based on data from nationally representative sample surveys.
The Middle Class - As the Class of No Class
An attempt to understand some of the ambiguities around what it means to be middle class in India has been made in this paper. It also discusses the influence that the middle class supposedly has on Indian politics despite these uncertainties.
America's Missing Workers
Near-record levels of absenteeism could be hampering the recovery
CHINA'S GEELY, BAIDU ANNOUNCE ELECTRIC CAR VENTURES
Chinese automaker Geely says it will form an electric car venture with tech giant Baidu, adding to a flurry of corporate tie-ups in the industry to share soaring technology development costs.
Where Is Jack Ma, China's E-commerce Pioneer?
China’s best-known entrepreneur, e-commerce billionaire Jack Ma, made his fortune by taking big risks.
A NOSE FOR COVID-19
Central Florida Company Trains Canines to Detect Virus
Gain Of Function
How much risk of an accidental pandemic is too much?
Yin Lu CHINESE HERITAGE AND SYMBOLISM
Yin Lu CHINESE HERITAGE AND SYMBOLISM
HUAWEI: A GENUINE COMPETITOR TO APPLE AND GOOGLE
Now considered the poster child of China’s technology sector, Huawei has defied the odds in recent years amidst growing pressure from political leaders in the US and Europe. But just how did the company climb to the top, and overtake Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone brand? Let’s pull back the curtain and reveal the secrets behind its success.
THE COVID-19 MANHATTAN PROJECT
NEVER HAVE SO MANY RESEARCHERS TRAINED THEIR MINDS ON A SINGLE PROBLEM IN SO BRIEF A TIME. SCIENCE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.
China's Rebel Historians
Defiant researchers chronicle a past that the Communist Party grows ever more intent on erasing.
A Silicon Curtain Descends
TRUMP ESCALATED AMERICA’S WAR AGAINST HUAWEI AND CHINA. BIDEN SHOULD BEWARE BURGEONING TECHNONATIONALISM.