The predictions about the coronavirus catastrophe grow more ominous by the day, and despite the best efforts of countries like Australia in enacting emergency action plans to contain the disease, its spread continues at a worrying rate.
Even the World Health Organisation forecasts a world of pain. It says the virus poses a greater global threat than terrorism. That’s bad enough, but medical experts tell 60 MINUTES it’s actually even more terrifying. Professor Gabriel Leung, who led the fight against the SARS virus, believes 60 per cent of the world’s population could become infected with COVID-19 and that up to 45 million people might die from it.
For this story, Liam Bartlett has travelled to Hong Kong and Thailand to find out the likely cause of the disease, as well as the latest ongoing efforts to combat it. At all times he and his crew have followed medical advice and undertaken strict protocols to limit their exposure to potential danger.
As part of its desperate efforts to contain the virus, China has closed over 20,000 such markets across the country.
But they’re still operating with impunity all across Asia, run by organised crime syndicates in Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Burma.
Steven Galster says to stop the spread of COVID-19 – the illness caused by the coronavirus – or prevent the emergence of similar viruses in the future, the illegal markets need to cease altogether.
“If you want to stop the next pandemic, it’s going to have to be truly a global attempt to shut these markets down,” Galster told 60 Minutes.
“Coronavirus is spreading all over the world. We need to not just shut down the markets in China, you need to shut them down in other places too. Otherwise it’s going to expand or recur.”