As many as 830 cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in China, while 26 lives have been lost. Majority of the cases have been reported in China's Wuhan, where 24 people died the new strain of coronavirus, called novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV.
A similar outbreak of a different strain took place in China in 2002-03, which claimed an eventual 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths reported in 17 countries. A similarity between the two disease outbreaks is that, bats are believed to be the natural hosts of the virus. At a time, when experts are raising alarm about the issue, a video has emerged online, in which a woman eats a fruit bat at a fancy Wuhan restaurant.
Video of woman eating bat
In the video that has emerged online, the woman can be seen holding the large bat with chopsticks, before she starts nibbling its wing. A man then encourages her to eat the meat. "Eat the meat! [Don't] eat the skin", he says; adding, "[You] should eat the meat on its back".
Another video has surfaced on social media, in which Cantonese-speaking diners dine on a bat soup. The video was shared by a Chinese blogger, with a caption in Mandarin, which reads: [After] experiencing this matter, can Chinese people give up eating wildlife?"
Coronavirus: a zoonotic disease
Coronavirus infection is a zoonotic disease, i.e. it spreads from animals to people. According to a report in Business Insider, bats are believed to be the natural hosts of the virus, which then infects other animals, which then spreads to humans.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause illness, ranging from the common cold to SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). 2002-03 SARS outbreak in China infected about 8,000 people in over 37 countries and claimed about 80 lives.
The present outbreak has claimed 26 lives and infected 830 people, according to latest update. Cases have been reported outside China, in Thailand, South Korea, Japan, U.S.A., Singapore and Vietnam.