Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP
Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP
Martin Williams
Opinion

Opinion

Martin Williams

China coronavirus: Beijing should close down live-animal food markets to stop similar diseases emerging in future

  • Science shows fears of imminent doom are groundless. In evolutionary terms, a disease that relies on human-to-human transmission tends to be mild; infected people have to be well enough to spread it
  • Nevertheless, as long as markets exist that sell exotic animals for food, the likelihood of other new diseases emerging will remain

Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP
Members of the Wuhan Hygiene Emergency Response Team conduct searches in the shuttered Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, Hubei province, on January 11. Photo: AFP
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Martin Williams

Martin Williams

Martin Williams is a Hong Kong-based writer specialising in conservation and the environment, with a PhD in physical chemistry from Cambridge University.