Illegal Trade in African pangolins suspected to be the cause of coronavirus spread to humans as the scale and meat of pangolins is widely sold on Chinese markets. Pangolins are the worlds most trafficked animal with consumers mainly from China and Vietnam. Ironically it may very well be the illegal trade that now threatens the Chinese economy by an unwanted guest called Corona virus. Which again may safe the endangered pangolin from becoming an extinct species.
The pangolins is now believed to be the origin of the coronavirus. The recent news linking the animal to China may change this trend as pangolins have been reported to have likely transmitted to humans the novel coronavirus that has caused the death of over 1,524 people in mainland China.
The claim that the SARS-CoV-2 virus may have passed to humans by a pangolin to many didn’t come as a surprise. China has been in the news as the major consumer of pangolin which is smuggled in mostly from Africa.
Though trade in pangolin meat and scales has been banned internationally, domestic sales of medicines containing pangolin scales are still allowed in China. Many of the first people to become infected by the coronavirus worked at a seafood and wild-animal market in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and the virus is thought to have first spread to humans there in December.
Pangolins species occur both in Africa and Asia, however the genus is more abundant and easier available in Africa. The pangolins are smuggled from Africa to Asia just as the ivory used to be.