VII Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law 431-68 (July 2020)
In December 2019, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, in the Peo-
ple’s Republic of China, there were the rst diagnoses of infection cases
caused by a new type of Coronavirus, causer of COVID-19 disease,
which can lead to acute respiratory disorders. e technically named
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
spread rapidly across the globe, decimating thousands of people world-
wide, especially the elderly (individuals over the age of 60) and those
with pre-existing conditions, such as cardiopathy, diabetes, pneumo-
nia, neurological disorder, kidney disease, immunosuppression, and
asthma. e World Health Organization (WHO), as of March 2020,
declared this outbreak a global pandemic, that is to say, it has already
spread across all continents.1
e virus probably has a zoonotic origin, most likely from bats,
which serve as its hosts. A theory is that animals infected by bats—
especially Asian pangolins2—may have been brought to Huanan’s wet
markets—in the Jianghan District, in Wuhan, and this is arguably
where the rst person was infected.3 e transmission of the virus into
humans would be facilitated because pangolins and other wild animals,
including a variety of bats, are profusely sold in these Chinese markets.4
ere is still scientic uncertainty about the means of transmission
(the rst animal to host SARS-CoV-2, for example, is yet to be
determined). However, it is undeniable that the original epidemic
quickly turned into an apparently uncontrollable pandemic due to the
virus capacity of easy and fast transmission from person to person by
a mere handshake, saliva droplets, sneezing, coughing, or by touching
1. See WHO, Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) Pandemic, https://www.who.int/
emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 (last visited Apr. 2, 2020).
2. Pandolins are mammals which resemble armadillos and, currently, the type of wild
animals with the higest tracking rate in the world.
3. For details, see K G. A, A R, W. I L, E C.
H R F. G. e proximal origin of SARS-VoC-2. N M
(Mar. 17 2020, available at: [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9] (last
visited Apr. 2, 2020).
4. See H B. Coronavirus: e race to nd the animal which originated the
outbreak, BBC N (Feb. 26 2020, available at https://www.bbc.com/portuguese/
internacional-51641776 (last visited Apr. 2, 2020).