The Virus Hunters
Trailing the beast that stopped the world
From the bat to the pangolin, Radio Télévision Suisse works through the list of suspects in search for the biological bridge that allowed COVID-19 to infect humans and bring the world's economies grinding to a halt.
As scientists investigate the pandemic’s origins, one prominent theory points to China's 'wet markets', where low sanitation standards increase the risk of novel viruses spreading to humans from wildlife. 'How to put it… Some vendors are not very conscientious,' says one anonymous vendor. Peter Embarek, a veterinarian in WHO's department of Alimentary Security and Zoonotic Diseases, agrees wet markets ‘played a role' – but argues it’s not as simple as that. 'From the moment that this virus is spread through bats, through to the point at which it starts to spread to humans, there's a gap in the timeline ... this missing link [could be] a farm animal, or a pet which we're in regular contact with'. Others argue the virus was man-made - but scientists such as Didier Trono are sceptical: 'It's not off the table ... but it's gossip more than anything else'.FULL SYNOPSIS