April 23, 2020 / 4:24 AM / 2 months ago

Pompeo: U.S. calls on China to permanently close wildlife wet markets

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses a news conference at the State Department in Washington, U.S., April 7, 2020. REUTERS/Leah Millis/Pool

(Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the United States has called on China to permanently close its wildlife wet markets, citing links between those markets and zoonotic diseases.

The new coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has spread around the world killing over 180,000 people and infecting over 2.6 million, Reuters calculations show tmsnrt.rs/3cBeEYg.

“Given the strong link between illegal wildlife sold in wet markets and zoonotic diseases, the United States has called on the People’s Republic of China to permanently close its wildlife wet markets and all markets that sell illegal wildlife,” Pompeo said in a statement late on Wednesday.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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