Following a COVID-19 outbreak, at least 10,000 students in a city in the northern Chinese province of Liaoning have been confined.

On Sunday, the health officials in Dalian city stated that two student halls in the west zone of Zhuanghe's university town were abandoned, with 3,291 of its former occupants - now deemed close contacts and "high-risk" persons - relocated to quarantine hotels.

China fights new COVID019 surge

The 7,884 students who stayed in other parts of the zone were not relocated to hotels but were instead confined in halls under "closed-loop management," with other sections sealed off.

The latest wave of infections in China, which began on October 17, appeared to be subsiding, but a surge in cases in Dalian, which includes Zhuanghe within its authority, has raised the number once more.

According to a statement released by the National Health Commission on Sunday, China recorded 89 new symptomatic cases on Saturday, up from 75 the day before. A total of eight asymptomatic cases from the community were also reported around the country, which the government does not include towards the official figure, SCMP reported.

Seventy of the symptomatic cases were spread locally, with 60 in Dalian. Twenty-eight of the new Dalian cases were related to a cafeteria worker-caused outbreak in the university town. At least 72 cases have been attributed to the university cluster.

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High-risk viruses discovered in China's wet market

Researchers have discovered eighteen "high risk" viruses hiding in China's wet markets, which might trigger another pandemic. The earliest coronavirus outbreak in 2019 was related to a wet market in Wuhan where vendors sold live animals, reptiles, and fish.

After visiting the Huanan seafood market five years before the start of the pandemic, Chinese specialists warned of the potential of a virus "spilling over" from animals to people, according to British scientist Dr. Eddie Holmes.

According to the Straits Times, experts have cautioned that animal species traded, sold, and consumed in China's wet markets are a "pandemic waiting to happen." A recent research released on November 12 found 71 mammalian viruses, with 18 of them being high-risk and potentially hazardous to humans and other animals.

The viruses discovered in civets, a tiny nocturnal animal similar to a badger that was the species that transferred the SARS coronavirus from bats to humans in China in 2002, were the most concerning, according to the researchers.

While the researchers did not find anything that looked like Sars-CoV-2, the virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic, they did discover that bat-borne variants may infect other species, potentially leading to deadly outbreaks.

"This study highlights exactly why the wildlife trade and live animal markets are a pandemic accident waiting to happen," said co-author Edward Holmes, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Sydney.

Cross-species transmission of animal viruses has also been discovered, with the most concerning case being the transmission of a bat coronavirus to a civet. Experts have previously predicted that "zoonotic" diseases-infections that spread from animals to humans-could cause pandemics every five years.

Per The Sun, experts have warned that the next pandemic might be as devastating as the Black Death, which killed 75 million people. An undiscovered disease, known as Disease X, might trigger the next pandemic, and it'll probably be transmitted by an unknown species, "Animal X."

The origins of COVID-19 have yet to be discovered. According to two major theories, the virus either transferred to people in the Huanan Seafood Market or escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

According to a World Health Organization assessment into the pandemic's beginnings, the most likely transmission source was pangolins and bats. However, recent evidence suggests that neither species was sold in Wuhan before the arrival of COVID-19. Coronavirus may have been created to be hyper-infectious, but China has refuted all charges of misconduct, according to researchers.

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