Wa shut down nightclubs to prevent entry of coronavirus

The United Wa State Army (UWSA) on Sunday said it is shutting down the entertainment centres in its autonomous territory, which borders China, as part of its effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Nyi Rang, spokesperson for the ethnic armed group, said it will also impose strict measures to check on people crossing through its border gates. The UWSA also barred large public gatherings and urged people to avoid unnecessary travel.

It also called also called on people to stop eating wild animals under further notice.

“It is to prevent entry of the coronavirus,” he said. “So far we have not found anyone who might be infected with the virus in our territory.”

The Wa control a large swath of land covering six townships. Its de facto capital, Panghsang in Shan State, has thriving casinos, clubs and karaoke bars that cater mostly to Chinese customers.

Chinese authorities announced a temporary ban on the trade of wild animals on Sunday in response to suspicions linking it to the viral outbreak.

No wildlife can be transported or sold in any markets or online, according to the announcement in China’s state media. Suspected violators will be sent to the security services, and their businesses will be closed and sealed. Legal breeding centres will be quarantined.

The ban is aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus and to block potential sources of infection and transmission.

A group of 19 prominent researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the nation’s top universities have called on the government in China to crack down on wildlife markets such as the one at the centre of the Wuhan outbreak.

Zoonotic diseases, or those contracted by humans that originated in other species, account for a large share of human infectious illnesses.

Not all of them come from the wildlife trade: rabies is endemic across many species and one of the biggest causes of death in the developing world. But mixing species of wild animals increases the risk of diseases mutating and growing more virulent as they spread in unregulated markets, experts say. – Additional reporting by AP

Source: Myanmar Times

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