Wuhan’s seafood market, presumed Covid ground zero, tries to turn the page

By Jesús Centeno

Wuhan, China, Dec 29  (efe-epa).- Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, the presumed ground-zero for the Covid-19 pandemic, remains sealed off, disinfected and tightly guarded by security a year on from the first reports of the outbreak but on the second floor of the establishment, some are trying to rebuild their livelihoods.

The two buildings that comprise the market, separated by Xinhua (“New China”) Street have been cordoned off for months by blue barriers that have since been adorned with traditional Chinese paintings.

The establishment closed its doors in January 2020 soon after mysterious cases of pneumonia were detected among its merchants and clients.

The Chinese government alerted the World Health Organization to the first cases of the coronavirus disease the day before its closure.

The virus, and the Covid-19 disease it causes, have since spread the world over.


Investigators clad in white hazmat suits, gloves, goggles and masks were, for months, the only people authorized to enter the market to carry out duties of disinfection and the gathering of samples.

Today, there is neither a trace of the disinfectors nor the merchants or customers that once gave life to the wet market on the lower floor of Huanan. In China, wet markets sell a vast range of products ranging from fruit and vegetables to fresh meat, seafood, herbs and spices.

Nowadays, the only commercial activity at the Huanan market can be found on the second floor, which reopened in July, allowing hundreds of optics merchants to return to business.

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