Swamped by the coronavirus pandemic, experts are still unable to pinpoint the exact origin of the virus as flattening its curve is proving to be the tougher task. But many of the studies, pinpoint that the epicenter of the virus’ origin may have been the Hunan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China.

With this being the likely answer, countries like Australia are disappointed with WHO’s decision of supporting the reopening of China’s wet markets.

As per the World Health Organization, China’s wet markets can function again with increased hygiene practices and other safety precautions. The organization refused to support the demand of other countries to ban China’s wet markets, citing that they are the nation’s important source of food and income.

While not concrete, the working theory is that coronavirus originated in bats and then passed on to pangolins, the most trafficked animal in the world for their meat and scales with medicinal properties. They are illegally sold in China’s wet markets. 

In fact, the concern regarding these wet markets grew to such extent that the Chinese government banned the sale and consumption of wild animals, but now that Wuhan has lifted its lockdown measures, the city's market stalls are brimming with vendors again. 

With many claiming that China has been less than honest in sharing details about how, where, and the extent to which the virus has spread, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has openly criticized WHO for allowing China’s wet markets to open. 

“Australia and the world will be looking to organizations like the WHO to ensure lessons are learned from the devastating coronavirus outbreak,” said Morrison to The Australian. “There must be transparency in understanding how it began in Wuhan and how it was transmitted. We also need to fully understand and protect against the global health threat posed by places like wet markets.”

In the past too, Morrison had commented on China’s wet markets, calling them a “real and significant problem wherever they exist”. 

“This virus started in China and went round the world. And that's how it started. We all know that," Morrison said. “And these wet markets can be a real problem when it comes to what can occur in those markets. And I think from a world health point of view, this is something the World Health Organisation should do something about.”

China Coronavirus COVID-19 An elderly woman arrives in an ambulance to Wuhan Red Cross Hospital after being transferred from another hospital after recovering from the COVID-19 coronavirus in Wuhan on March 30, 2020. HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images