Up until now it has been widely claimed that the pandemic started on Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, but an expert has claimed it could have started in South Africa.
Scientists and intelligence agencies across the world are trying to confirm exactly where coronavirus did start, and it is widely believed the virus is from a zoonotic transmission.
It has been widely believed that the virus happened from bats, which also caused the Ebola virus in 2014, or from Pangolins.
Audrey Delsink, the wildlife director of the African branch of Humane Society International (HSI) told the Express, “People are so concerned that they are the host species and it’s not inconceivable to consider that it was a pangolin from South Africa that was in the mix there and was the intermediate host.
“The fact of the matter is that we have bats and pangolin here. Bats, especially, host a number of diseases, so in South Africa we have all those species.”
Se has raised concerns over the lack of consideration over the risks of zoonotic transmissions, as laws allow for lion bones to be exported.
She said, “At what point do we say that human health trumps economics?
“If we haven’t learned any lessons from where we are right now, in a pandemic costing the world trillions in trying to recover, I don’t know what it will take.
“This pandemic is not first of its kind, we’ve seen SARS, MERS and this now, we need to start questioning how and what we do with animals, because this has brought us to our knees.
“It’s just worrying that we seem to be going ahead, well in South Africa, with the same policies and rationale that China has.
“It’s very concerning, I have seen some comments from some people in the game farming industry and it’s quite shocking, there is a level of understanding, willingness to understand or to delve deeper into the disease.
“For them, the links to wildlife are not there, as some people in the industry are saying, ‘We are alright, as long as you don’t eat a bat you will be ok, no risk of transmission and we don’t import these animals into South Africa, so our industry is fine.’”
She added, “Look at some of the lion breeding farms in South Africa, they have other big cats and other animals that are there.
“Recently released images showed one where 50 lions had been slaughtered, there was a mix of faeces, blood and all sorts of things there.
“It’s not hard to imagine how this could happen in our country, you know, that’s what concerns me, that some people are naive enough to think it could never happen here.”