Family of four secretly lived in coronavirus-riddled Wuhan food market

Family of four is discovered secretly living in the coronavirus-riddled Wuhan food market – and miraculously are not ill

  • None of the members were reported to be ill when they were found today
  • The family were discovered by officials conducting thorough disinfection
  • They refused to tell the press why they had remained in the sealed-up place 
  • Chinese experts claim humans caught the virus from animals at the market

A family of four in Wuhan has secretly lived in a food market riddled with the novel coronavirus after the venue was shut by officials in January in the wake of a virus outbreak.

Hazmat-clad officials today found the family inside the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the epidemic was believed to have originated, according to a report.

Authorities immediately arranged all members, including an elderly person and a child, to move into a hotel. None of them were said to be ill.

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A picture released by media purports to show three members of the family moving out of the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, believed to be the origin of the coronavirus outbreak

The once-popular trading destination was shut on January 1 after the epidemic emerged

Workers discovered the family when they started to conduct the first round of thorough disinfection at the empty marketplace, according to Red Star News. 

A male member of the family refused to tell the news outlet why they had remained in the market.

But an official in charge of the family’s relocation claimed that they had been employees there.

Wuhan officials today began a three-day disinfection process in the once-popular trading destination.

Cleaners in protective suits are tasked to sanitise the interior and exterior of all stalls and safely dispose of the remaining stock, reported Beijing News. 

Previously, the city’s authority had already removed wild animals and other related products from the place.

The deadly Chinese coronavirus outbreak began at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan (pictured), Chinese experts claimed after testing samples collected from the place

Scientists from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said tests proved humans caught it from animals at the market where customers chose from live animals that were slaughtered in front of them (picture purportedly shows skinned chicks at the market)

Experts have suggested that the deadly disease may have originated in snakes, which are known carriers of coronaviruses (multiple reptiles at the market)

Image shows what appears to be a beaver and a small deer caged at Huanan

A list of prices for one of the businesses operating at the market showed ‘live tree bears’ which is the Chinese for ‘koala’ (circled above)  

The deadly new virus, known as COVID-19, has killed at least 3,220 people and infected more than 94,200 worldwide.

According to public notices released by Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, the first coronavirus patient appeared on December 8 and most of the initial patients were linked to the market, which was shut on January 1 after the outbreak emerged.

Scientists from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have claimed that humans caught the COVID-19 virus from animals sold as food at the market.

It is not clear which animal was carrying the virus but the market was home to stalls trading dozens of different species, including rats and wolf cubs.

However, the BBC reported that the very first COVID-19 sufferer was a pensioner in his 70s with no relation to Huanan.

The unnamed man fell ill on December 1 – a week earlier than officials’ claims – and was bed-bound due to a stroke, a doctor told the BBC.

Chinese workers wear protective masks and suits before entering the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan to carry out thorough disinfection works on March 4

A police officer wearing protective mask and suit is on duty during disinfection works at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan on March 4

Hazmat-clad cleaners are tasked to sanitise stalls and safely dispose of the remaining stock

According to public notices released by Wuhan Municipal Health Commission, the first coronavirus patient appeared on December 8 and most of the initial patients were linked to the market, which was shut on January 1 after the outbreak emerged

Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease specialist at Georgetown University, speculated that the virus started to spread silently between residents of Wuhan as early as November.

‘The virus came into that marketplace before it came out of that marketplace,’ Lucey told Science Magazine.

Several conspiracy theories have connected the novel coronavirus to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

One school of theories claim that the virus had been leaked from the lab either by accident or on purpose.

The institute has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Coronaviruses are so named because their structure has jagged edges which look like a royal crown – corona is crown in Latin (Pictured, an illustration of the COVID-19 virus released by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

In the UK, 87 people have been confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus 

Shi Zhengli, director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said last month: ‘The 2019 novel coronavirus is nature’s punishment for humans’ uncivilised life habits.

‘I, Shi Zhengli, use my life to guarantee, [the virus] has no relation with the lab.’

She told Chinese news outlet Caixin: ‘Conspiracy theorists don’t believe in science. I hope our country’s professional departments can come to investigate and prove our innocence.’

More than 70 nations are now battling the contagion, with South Korea, Italy, Japan and Iran among the worst-affected.

According to scientists, the virus has mutated into at least two separate strains since the outbreak began.

They say there are now two types of the same coronavirus infecting people and most people seem to have caught the most aggressive form of it.

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