Pangolin gets top protection in China
China has accorded the highest level of protection to the armadillo-like pangolin as part of its crackdown on the wildlife trade following the global coronavirus pandemic.
Most scientists said it was most likely transmitted from bats to humans via an intermediary animal such as the pangolin. That has placed the focus on a wet market in Wuhan, the origin of the pandemic where wildlife was sold for food.
The order from the National Forestry and Grassland Administration did not explicitly mention the outbreak as a reason for the measure. The one-sentence notice said the action was needed “in order to strengthen the protection of pangolins.”
The wild population of three species of pangolins found in China has crashed as a result of habitat loss and overhunting, despite a 2007 hunting ban.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy by some Chinese and its scales are used as an ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.
Meanwhile, China’s capital Beijing is lowering its emergency response level to the second-lowest starting Saturday for the coronavirus pandemic.
That will lift most restrictions on people traveling to Beijing from Wuhan and surrounding Hubei province, where the virus first appeared late 2019.
They will no longer face 14-day mandatory quarantines and other forms of monitoring, and those currently in such situations will be allowed to return to their normal lives.
Beijing residential compounds will not be required to conduct temperature checks and masks no longer must be worn for outdoor activities. Kindergartens will reopen and other grades still suspended will restart classes.
Beijing has reported no new cases of local transmission in at least 50 days and as many as 90 days in some districts.
China on Saturday reported three new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, all brought from outside the country.
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