Dr H S Prayag and Meera Bhardwaj
Even as the world battles and grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic followed by lockdown of millions of people and its economy – it is now clear that the Chinese had enough warning of such an outbreak but they did nothing about it. Last March, Chinese scientists had given clear warning that Bat borne Coronaviruses [CoVs] will soon re-emerge to cause the next outbreak with China being the likely hotspot.
Chinese researchers have also stated that the challenge was – how to prevent such an outbreak due to lack of studies about its transmission to humans, the knowledge of intermediate host and other related aspects of a possible outbreak.
Presently ongoing research in various countries on Covid-19 shows that the genome of the novel coronavirus is 96 per cent similar to a CoV found in horseshoe bat. Therefore scientists stress bats are likely to be the source but how it has been transmitted to the humans is a big question mark?
Corroborating this, Chinese scientists have now suggested that either BAMBOO RATS OR BADGERS may have been intermediate hosts. But the South China Agricultural University has come out with its own deductions and said “Pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world – may be the important link in the virus to jump the species barrier that is for the virus transfer to human beings.”
EARLY WARNINGS FROM CHINESE SCIENTISTS
Scientists from Wuhan Institute of Virology and University of Chinese Academy of Sciences published their research paper on re-emergence of CoV in the Journal of Viruses [MDPI] in March, 2019.
As per their findings, they clearly warned OF A FUTURE OUTBREAK OF Coronavirus in view of two bat origin CoVs which had earlier caused large scale epidemics in China in the last 15 years. The researchers also specified a CROSS SPECIES TRANSMISSION POTENTIAL of ‘Bat CoVs and the need for further studies.
Bats have three dimensional roost structure which facilitate indirect transmission through droplets or aerosol of viruses which is excreted in urine.Regarding transmission, it depends on virus shedding and recipient host exposure.
BIG THREAT TO HUMANS
With so many genetically divergent CoVs in bats which have neither been isolated nor identified it now poses a big threat to human health, the scientists stated. As many studies have revealed Coronaviruses are well known to undergo genetic recombination thereby, leading to new genotypes and new outbreaks.
TICKING VIRAL BOMB
The presence of large SARS-COV like viruses in horseshoe bats together with the CULTURE OF EATING EXOTIC MAMMALS in Southern China is a TIME BOMB – Chinese scientists warned. The possibility of re-emergence of SARS and other novel Coronaviruses from animals or labs cannot be ignored they stressed.
If this was not enough, Chinese virologists clearly warned of another outbreak and maybe, even a pandemic. They said, “Although SARS-CoV was known to transmit from BATS to HUMANS or SWINE – their exact transmission routes are unknown.
“WE should not underestimate the possibility of recombination among different bat CoVs which may lead to the generation of potential pandemic viruses. It is highly likely that future SARS or MERS like coronavirus outbreaks will originate from bats and there is an increased probability THIS WILL OCCUR IN CHINA. Therefore, investigation of coronaviruses becomes an urgent issue for detection of early warning signs which will minimize the impact of such future outbreaks in China. ”
Will the Chinese government listen to its own Scientists and Researchers as also medical professionals [remember the Wuhan doctor who gave the alert whose mouth was shut and later died treating CoV patients] so that in future – the world especially poor nations do not face such a pandemic again for no fault of theirs?
CHINA’S MORAL RESPONSIBILITY
Now whether it is BATS AND PANGOLINS which led to the present pandemic – this needs to be studied and researched thoroughly so that the world is not faced again with such irresponsible acts that has been committed by a developed country like China not once but twice?
CHINA NEEDS to take MORAL RESPONSIBILITY for the spread of coronavirus as there was unexplained delay in informing the world about this deadly virus and therefore, they should provide MONEY AND MANPOWER and other assistance and other kind of help to tackle the pandemic in ASIA EUROPE and AMERICAS.
Presently what they are doing is very very insufficient…….
Hopefully, research in the coming days will clearly decide and show the way for development of a vaccine and treatment for this deadly disease that is presently spreading from human to human across the globe and causing havoc and untold miseries.
Taiwan warned the WHO on 31 December that COVID-19 spread from human-to-human. The WHO sat on the warning and amplified China’s lie that humans couldn’t transmit the disease. Now the mention of Taiwan prompts a senior WHO official to terminate an interview https://t.co/X7fmakvVQM