Wednesday, January 29, 2020

India should press the UN to declare closure of live animal markets across the globe

To Sh Narendra Modi Ji
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India

Dear Sh Modi ji

India should press the UN to declare closure of live animal markets across the globe

Live animal markets are found across the developing world, especially in Asia and Africa. In these live animal markets, people bring two unrelated species of animals together. And when you do that in these tight, crowded, stressful conditions, you create every opportunity for these viruses to jump host species.

Most animals sold there are healthy. But in the crowded conditions at these markets, one sick animal can infect many more.

The Chinese government closed live animal markets after SARS. But the markets have slowly reopened in the years since.  It’s not the first time these live markets have bred a new disease, and it probably won’t be the last.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome, better known as SARS, originated at a similar market in China in 2002. It ultimately claimed nearly 800 lives. Bird flu spread in these markets in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The H5N1 strain of influenza has killed 455 people since 2003.

One such spread of infection brings down the global economy and national resources. India should pitch at the UN and other International forums to ban live animal markets globally.

With kind regards

Recipient of four National Awards (Padma Shri, Vishwa Hindi Samman, Dr B C Roy National Award and National Science Communication Award)
President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Chairman HCFI Round Table on Health & wellness, Building Consensus
Past National President and Past Honorary Secretary General, Indian Medical Association

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