Thailand has dismissed a Danish-language news report published in Denmark’s Politiken that the Chatuchak Week Market in Bangkok could be the source of COVID-19 virus before the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan, China.
Director-General of the Department of Disease Control Dr. Opas Karnkawinpong said that the report had referred to information from Danish epidemiologist Thea Kolsen Fischer, who worked with the World Health Organization (WHO). It also quoted another report that horseshoe bats found in Thailand carry a SAR virus that shares 91.5 percent of its genetic code with the COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Opas said that three agencies, namely the Department of Disease Control, the Department of Livestock Development, and the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, have been imposing preventive measures for disease control in animal-trading markets, which are also required to be cleaned constantly.
An initial research study showed that bats are the sources of several types of virus, but there was no evidence of virus transmission from bats to humans.
Director-General of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department Thanya Netithammakul said that the department had conducted tests on various types of animals at the Chatuchak Weekend Market. Results of the tests showed that no COVID-19 virus was found in animals traded at this weekend market.
The claim that the Chatuchak Weekend Market could be the source of the COVID-19 virus is, therefore, groundless. Results of the research study, jointly conducted by Chulalongkorn University, Kasetsart University, and the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, also indicated that the virus strain found in the bats could not cause any diseases in humans.
Source: The Government Public Relations Department