With the first of the coronavirus vaccines being administered worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) now says it is safe for the public to once again eat bats in moderation.
“The past year was a difficult year for citizens across the globe, as the coronavirus pandemic forced people to entirely cut bats and pangolins out of their diets,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a New Year’s Day statement. “With vaccines now being distributed and the end of this pandemic in sight, we are happy to report that it is once again safe to consume bats and other exotic disease-carrying animals, either cooked or raw.”
Tedros went on to urge people to go back to patronizing wet markets, which faced a consumer backlash after COVID-19 was traced back to the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China.
“While citizens across the world have been touched by this tragic pandemic, no one has suffered more than the owners of these wet markets and the vendors who depend on the sale of possibly-infected wildlife for their livelihoods,” Tedros stated. “Please support these businesses by once again buying and consuming these disease-ridden animals without hesitation.”
It was not all good news, however. It will be another three to six months, Tedros said, before it is safe to stop washing one’s hands.