DDC dismisses claim that Chatuchak market could be origin of Covid
Thai health authorities on Wednesday dismissed reports that the World Health Organisation (WHO) is now looking at Bangkok’s Chatuchak weekend market as the possible origin of Covid-19 virus.
Danish media reported that the WHO team who visited Wuhan in January cast doubt on the theory that the virus originated in the Chinese city and are now looking at other possible sources, including wildlife vendors at Chatuchak market.
The Department of Disease Control (DDC) on Wednesday denied the claim in a press briefing.
Dr Chawetsan Namwat, director of the DDC’s emergency disease and health hazards control division, said the claim was based on research that shows Thai horseshoe bats carry a SARS virus that shares 91.5 per cent of its genetic code with the Covid-19 virus. However, the bat virus is not transmissible to humans, he added.
The DDC continues to advise people not to eat wild animals, including bats, he said.
“This is just an academic assumption, not absolute truth," said Chawetsan of the reports.
“We are constantly monitoring the animal-trading zone in Chatuchak weekend market. Even if there is no clear evidence on the origin of this virus, we still need to be vigilant and maintain strong disease-prevention measures.”