30 May, 2020

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A Single Virus & A Humble Animal Sends The Whole World Into Lockdown

By Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga

Chandrika Kumaratunga

The world has been attacked by the most widely spread pandemic the world has ever experienced. It has had seismic effects on the entire world – almost no country has been spared from its terrifying repercussions.

We humans prided ourselves that we had conquered Mother Nature. We indiscriminately destroyed her bountiful forests, thereby destroying large numbers of wild life or creating unnatural conditions in which humans were called upon to live in close proximity with wild animals. We heartlessly polluted her rivers. Lakes and seas and the air that we breathe in the name of increased GDP and economic growth rates, regardless of the long-term dangers of all living beings.

We now find that we are knocked senseless by one single virus carried to us by a humble bat. The entire world has been forced into lock-down. We are only beginning to comprehend the possible outcome of this global viral attack on the national and global economy. Not only would we have to re-think the whole paradigm of development, our concept of life and how we live it will change radically.

National Governments are acting individually in heroic attempts to contain the spread of the disease. International and regional organisations too have gone into lockdown mode themselves, due perhaps to the unpreparedness of these organisaions for the present situation. Nobody seems to have imagined that the shock and awe attack by a single virus could create such havoc, at such an unimaginable scale as the Corona Covid-19 virus has done.

The response of global and regional organisations has disappointed a lot of us, who believe in the necessity and power of international organisations to deal with issues that affect many or all countries of the world, by their very composition and objectives which we believe are to bring the world together in joint action, in times of peace and also when urgent action is required when emergencies arise. We are disappointed that the global and regional organisations appear to be inept to deal with the present emergency.

It is evident that the first thing to do in this emergency is to control the spread of the disease, while medically caring for those who are infected by it. I would call this, dealing with the result of a deep and serious problem.

It would be most constructive to study the origins of the problem – how and from where the present Covid virus came to infect the human being.

Innumerable theses are being expounded presently about the origins of the virus, the manner in which it spread, and so on. Even conspiracy theories are being circulated widely through social media. At this time it is essential to base our understanding and explanations on established scientific facts and not various bits of somebody’s vivid imagination. We must inquire if the theories that are put forward to us have any solid scientific basis. If not, believing all this nonsense could lead to diverse political and human conflicts.  

Serious research has demonstrated that as far back as 13 years ago in 2007, academics have raised alarm with regard to “wet markets” and the indiscriminate consumption of wild life in China, the Far East and countries in South America, as well as in many other countries worldwide. Several papers by Chinese academic Cheng and others in their Paper written in 2007, gives a clear warning : 

“Coronaviruses are well known to undergo genetic recombination (375), which may lead to new genotypes and outbreaks. The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.”

Then Yi Fan and others in a Paper published in 2019 give an ominous prediction:

“Thus, it is highly likely that future SARS or MERS-like coronavirus out​breaks will originate from bats, and there is an increased probability that this will occur in China.”

Scientists at the forefront of infectious disease surveillance and research and epidemiologists have been warning their Governments and the whole world about the imminent danger of consuming wild animals as food. It is unforgivable that the relative Governments, as well as international organisations, took no notice of this.

We are aware that the illegal international wildlife trade and the wet market trade of wild animals earns the Chinese economy as much as US$ 74 Billion per annum. The short and medium term cost to Governments by the Covid 19 pandemic will likely be much more than fifty-fold of that value.

Didier Sicard, a French specialist of infectious diseases, working at the Institut Pasteur in Laos has noted that bats have harboured the Corona virus in their bodies since millions of years and can, in certain circumstances, disperse them to humans and other animals. The destruction of virgin forests in Laos, for instance, has rendered it possible for bats, which normally live deep in the forests and caves, to begin to live close to human habitation and hence open up the flood-gates to spread the infection. In this epidemic we know how dangerous contact could prove for the spread of the virus.

We are aware that the starting point of this pandemic is a public “wet market” in Wuhan where wild animals such as serpents, bats and others are kept crowded in cane baskets.  These animals are bought and consumed as delicacies. This market is known to be crowded with animals and human beings and is not famous for its levels of cleanliness.  Hence, infected animals would have infected other animals, which in turn would have infected people.

In a seminal article written by Tara Schlegel,* she expresses surprise that our countries seem to be mainly interested in producing vaccines, treatments and re-animation which is admittedly the immediate requirement, but shows little or no interest with regard to the cause and the origins of the virus. The problem is further compounded by our knowledge that wild animals are effectively at the origin of a large number of epidemics since the beginning of time – the Plague, HIV, bird flu, Ebola are some recent examples. It is said that bats carry some 30-odd corona-type viruses. Snakes of all types live in the same caves and forests inhabited by bats. When bats die in their caves they are eaten by serpents, which thereby become infected by the virus.  It is also thoughts that other animals/insects such as ants could be infected. All this makes it evident that extensive research needs to be undertaken to study the entire chain of contamination caused by the bats.

The study of the relationship between the Covid-9 carrying bats and their contamination of serpents, in addition to ants and other animals which live in close proximity of the serpents, and how they could infect humans becomes essential if we are to understand how humans contract the virus and how we could control the spread of it.

The accelerated destruction of forest cover in Indo-China and China could be a certain cause of bringing human habitation unnaturally close to that of wild animals and thereby promoting the propagation of various diseases, including the Covid Virus.

Urgent Global Action Required 

1. Global action appears essential for joint programmes of research to study the origins and the chain of transmission of the virus, about which I have given details above. This implies in-depth study of the animals which transmit this virus. It would also imply the study of other animals such as rats, which are known to transmit the bacteria that causes plague.

*Tara Schlegel, Radio France. 

2. International action to bring laws to forbid national and international trade in wild animals and the total ban of “wet markets” in every country of the world. It may become necessary to create International/Regional institutions to monitor the implementation of these laws, with independent inspectors to survey the implementation at local level.

3. To promote close and effective co-operation between Governments under the aegis of International Organisations such as the UNO and regional  organizations and the WHO, for the development of medical treatment, preventive vaccines, etc. to fight the covid-19 virus. The WHO will have to re-structure itself to meet the present emergency, as well as other similar health emergencies which seem imminent in our world today.

To achieve this, it is proposed that an international meeting of a selected number of former and present leaders of Government, together with experts, be summoned without delay, with the objective of formulating policies and a programme of action. This process could be co-ordinated and/or led by the UNO.

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  • 4
    22

    Chandrika Kumaratunga should stick to politics. The bat story is a canard like hundreds of others being spread around the world via social media. She kicks off with that and then loses her way in environmentalism and other subjects having started off to write about Covid-19. For reader’s information, the east Asian woman supposedly eating a bat was a staged event from about four year’s ago. Google and check that up. Anyone can.

    • 5
      2

      Dear Ms Kumarathunga,
      .
      why the people suffer today is connected with the total ignorance of BP Brothers in power right at the moment.
      .
      They brother DUO are totally far from facts, but their WANDNI BATTAYAS too are fools and even if they now boast of their measures being taken, as an island nation, we could crush it as early as begining of March 2020.
      .
      They instead promoted srilanka as the SAFER tourist destination for anyone – this was catalyed by appointing that M++++THER F*+++Ker Iraja Weeraratna, an another young backlicker of Gotabaya and his campaign, as Tourism Promoting Director. This is today forogtten by main steam media, but their abusive promotion, misled the tourists and some sort of arrivals went up rapidly.
      Above all CHINESE tourists came in with higher possiblities ot infect our people.- now you would raise the question, then we should have got lot more INFECTED patients. We really do have them hidden,…. and their statistics being published sofar have not focused on the real numbers.
      :
      This is why the danger before the INNOCIENT masses are NOT mapped yet.
      :
      HOPE not that nmbers would go exponentially as is the case in Italy and other countries in EUrope.

      • 6
        15

        A disingenuous article – and calling for former leaders of govt to meet as a solution!
        Brainless too, she who has led the corruption, rot and moral and intellectual bankrupcy of the political class in Sri Lanka for so long, with Ranil and the Rajapaksas…

        Time for her to find something useful to do!

      • 2
        2

        Similarly in 1956, a single virus (Buddharakita) and a humble animal (SWRD) sent the whole Sri Lanka into lockdown.

    • 8
      1

      The only way to defeat the epidemic is to test and test.

      Germany 50,000 tests per day
      UK 10,000 tests per day
      Sri Lanka 100+ tests per day.

      This is going to boomerang on us.

    • 5
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      Ms. Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga ,

      RE: A Single Virus & A Humble Animal Sends The Whole World Into Lockdown

      “National Governments are acting individually in heroic attempts to contain the spread of the disease. International and regional organisations too have gone into lockdown mode themselves, due perhaps to the unpreparedness of these organisaions for the present situation. Nobody seems to have imagined that the shock and awe attack by a single virus could create such havoc, at such an unimaginable scale as the Corona Covid-19 virus has done.”

      Many imbeciles were caught with their pants down.

      This is an evolution plan by natural selection to sort out the stupid from the non-stupid,
      Unfortunately many non-stupids, will get caught of the wave of the stupids.

      President Gon Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on March 17, 2020, that there is no Covid-19 problem. President Gon Donald Trump said the same thing more or less.

      Now the stupids are catching up. The tiny virus with only a single strand of RNA is going around in circles of the stupids and imbeciles.

      Only the high IQ South Koreans, Taiwanese and Singaporeans seem to have got a hang of it.Others are trying to catch up, but should learn from those who know.

      You Need To Listen To This Leading COVID-19 Expert From South Korea | ASIAN BOSS

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAk7aX5hksU

      The virus jumped from a bat to a snake or pangolins to humans in the Wuhan Wholesale Food market , resulting in pneumonia with 2 to 3 percent fatality. New virus, and no vaccines.

      Prostration to Monks, Pirith ceremonies, etc, will not do any good. Only isolation an wearing personal protection will save the spread of the virus.

      • 0
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        amarasiri

        “Prostration to Monks, Pirith ceremonies, etc, will not do any good.”

        please don’t insult the sinhala bhuddhists.mahanayakas have ordered pirith 24/7 until virus has been chased away.This was long overdue and gota should have allowed the mahanayakas to handle this problem in the first place without poking his nose and giving unbelievable suffering by his curfews etc.

    • 4
      3

      there is no earthly reason for the former President of Sri-Lanka, to stick to politics. Politicians around the world seem to be doing their best to manage the nationals and non national through the dedication health experts and using each countries resources at the highest level. Mrs Bandaranayake rightly calls upon a world leaders discuss the global endemic by way of an action and protecting the environment, is protecting our common future. We welcome her contribution by way of her article which contains her views that are timely and valuable. We hope our former President will continue to engage in this important discussion.

    • 2
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      dionysious

      stop trying to tell us that the chinese farts smell nice.All the viruses arise from there.how do you explain that.long ago i visited a market in HK where anything that moves was for sale.Contrast that with the indians who ate very fussily before they put anything into their mouth.They have the same population as china but no viruses come out from there and even with the chinese exporting it the percentage is very low.

    • 2
      1

      Not at all. CBK is 100% right in principle. If not bat it was pangolin, if not that some other not creature out of the wild. And it does not matter whether it was Wuhan or Timbuktu; the point is about destroying and encroaching into the few wild places left in the world. CBK and the experts are 100% correct about that. This Dionysus is an uneducated, unread, homophobic person.

      • 0
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        I have shared WGs with Chinese and we are well aware of their eating habbits. If we would allow them, they would eat us out for their next meal. They are just people that would not see twice before going to prepare a meal but do so.
        :
        Their eating habbits have now ruined the entire world as nobody guessed at would happen that soon. With number of the infected go up rapidly in USA and european countries, people’s anxieties become more and more.
        :
        The donkeys such as Donald Trump, Mexican and Russia s leaders dont seem to take this serious until they are caught by the creature in next days. Iranian politicians, being flanked to one another, go on with their business as usual mode. Entire world will have to face it until a proper medicine is found by August. Those clinical trials that are now in advanced phases could be used even if the safety and efficacy are not yet completed because it is all-or-not process… for many.. in italy and other parts of the world.

  • 22
    3

    Excellent article Madam.

    • 21
      3

      Well, at the very least, we have an ex-leader here who can write her own opinion pieces without help from senile law professors.

    • 3
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      fahim
      i too agree with you that it is a fine article by a less than fine ex-politician.

      • 3
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        Shankar: Your sentence is too long – by about six words.

      • 0
        1

        @Shankar Thank you Sir

  • 15
    5

    ————–Thank you Madam, for the well balanced article with scientific evidence to demonstrate that Snake Eating China is accountable for producing and spreading Covid-19 all over the world and ruining the world.——–

    ——Now the same Snake Eating China is reaping benefits from the pandemic they have created —– by spreading “Wuhan Virus”……….Trumpy should be commended for calling is “China Virus”—

    ————See how Snake Eating China is selling medical equipment and other protecting gear at exorbitant prices to other countries —–and also providing high interest loans to China’s slave countries like our Blessed Island ——-

    ——While Rajapuksa family is busy with swindling Corona funds and Chinese loans, ——————our Health Lady demonstrates lesbian tendencies in public by hugging Corona infected Chinese women.

  • 15
    3

    Excellent! This is what we expect from real leaders.

  • 9
    0

    Madam,
    It is too late. The greedy politicians never understand the impact of their greediness.

  • 0
    0

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  • 0
    0

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  • 4
    3

    Thank you very much Madam. An excellent article. But it is argued that this virus is created by 5G. It is said that modern technology is harm human race than anything else. Political thugs, and techno giant companies are making money .. Please see the argument of David ICKE on YouTube for more information. World political leaders are greedy. For their political grips they are harming this world. This so called global warming is nothing but a political blunder. let them cut more trees in Amazon forest and Asian jungles to see more flood and more earth quakes.. some our stupid politicians have done a greater damage to Sri Lanka too.. Mattala Air port, Hambantota seaport, and some other projects are disaster to our nature.. We will see more natural disasters in SL too. Politics of arrogance is one of main reasons for man made disasters.

  • 12
    3

    Thanks for writing this article .

  • 7
    4

    “We are aware that the starting point of this pandemic is a public “wet market” in Wuhan where wild animals such as serpents, bats and others are kept crowded in cane baskets. These animals are bought and consumed as delicacies.”

    The virus came from a bat. Bats are known to carry various pathogens. While the bat is immune to the effects of the pathogen, host species are not. China closed down over 20,000 wet markets all over the country. These wet markets are places where people can buy live animals, including exotic ones. The animals are crudely housed in various cages under conditions of extreme pressure. It is not surprising, then, if their immune system suddenly breaks down, at which point they are a carrier for disease. Animals should never be tortured, whether we are talking halal meat or goats for Vel and other Hindu festivals. BBS was correct to oppose this kind of cruelty taking place in Sri Lanka.

    • 2
      9

      Lester, wild animals took over Sri Lanka in 1956, to which herd you belong. These wild animals have been having a hay day since then, killing the natives and destroying their properties. This madness is now at its peak. It is time that these wild animals are got rid of including Co-Ranaviru-s in power, to save the natives.

      • 0
        0

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        • 2
          5

          Sorry for the mistake. Wild animals actually took over on 4th February 1948. Prior to that they were tamed by British and had been kept under control. After that date they were let loose without proper mechanism to rein in the, gradually becoming violent and since 1956 April they have become uncontrollable. Culling these wild animals in the country with foreign expertise is the only solution.

  • 1
    3

    While President Trump and President Xi Jinping are quarrelling who spit the Covid- 19 saliva first on other’s head, UN and others create new worry. Famine that is created by not distributing the food items those are in the hands of the countries.
    “Lock-down”, “shutdown” “closedown”, none of these is going just sit & idle in the countries, who imposing them. They are going to spread more virulent than the Virus and infect world over. China is already is blamed in rush to export poor quality products and cash on Covid-19. That may be true or false, but a global trade barrier is going to be created by the frowning countries, willfully. Acute recession or depression is the result, world over. Especially food shortage is going to fry many millions in Bangladesh, Lankawe, India like over populated but under producing countries. The problem with food products is, they always must have efficient distribution channels, as well as production facilities. Think about a fisherman. If he was prevented by curfew to sell in his catch before noon, he gets nothing for his hard work. At the same time, fish eaters don’t anything to eat. So, agricultural products should be distributed efficiently to control famine. Otherwise countries produce food in mass quantities will be dumping many million tons in sea and garbage dumps while people in other countries will be starving. This is not the case with longer shelf life industrial products. So next to controlling the virus, the important thing is global trade has to get back on its pitch to prevent famine strike poor countries. One should understand that this not an economic activity caused recession. This is artificially created by governments. So the first victim of the economic sector here is the distribution channels and global trade. Planners in the International Communities and developed countries should see no friction further delaying the global trade returning to normalcy. Governments should pay reasonable attention to revive the global trade, while funding local productions.

    • 2
      1

      I hear already 20,000 containers of perishable food item are deteriorating in Colombo Harbor (Today’s news). So there are people who were waiting for them are going to go hungry. The Harbours and food transports have to be declared as emergency service and all countries should issue passes for them to operate.

  • 5
    5

    We desperately need Her back and sheust give it a serious thought
    Madam join with Sajith please
    We need you

    • 2
      2

      Media is made so that decent politicians would not have a space in srilanka today. All media attacks were made by Rajapakshes to destroy this lady calling that she was highly corrupted, but those who know her, thanks to her only, entire world donated that much to srilanka at the time, island nation was brutally hit by TSUNAMI 2004. But what happened to the sums …. Mahinda embezzeled them by depositing in his sister s account. The judge himself revealed it was he who let Mahinda Rajapakshe not to be jailed, and this was a public statment made that abusive man -Saranth N silva.

      I think nation lacks real good leaders today. World does not respect us today since BP BROTHER duo lead the nation. Mahinda is good to control thugs in the country, since hehimself is a thug and high criminal. These men should fall on their on nose sooner than later, then only they could finally get it. God bless srilanka.

  • 1
    7

    wuhan virus did not come from a wet market, it came from a lab animal in wuhan. 330000 animals are experimented on . 1500 viruses are there. check the wuhan lab website.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpQFCcSIOpU

  • 0
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  • 4
    0

    When this terrible pandemic is over, I am sure there will be a lot of soul-searching about the meaning of life itself.

    Like what happened soon after World War 2 ended. People felt for each other. Powerful nations that suffered a lot as a result of the war realized what human suffering is. Britain gave up its colonial mentality and gave freedom to the countries under their control.

    ‘Human rights’ was enacted in the UN charter. Equal opportunities to all were passed.

    But with time as years went, many of these were forgotten and unfortunately, we got divided and started to fight within!

    I hope this terrible happening now will once again open our eyes, and make us start again afresh to benefit all mankind alike.

  • 3
    1

    Dear CBK
    A Single Virus & A Humble Animal Sends the whole world into lockdown

    It may be single strain but there are millions swirling around in the World.
    Sri Lankas story of having conquered it under Gotha is Laughable. He is a LIAR and a PARDONER. Only 4 deaths and 150 infected is total and just like in China it is higher by a factor of 40 that means 160 dead and 6000 infected. It is damage limitation to save Gothas Presidency and ailing Economy just like China.
    And according to reports this weekend, the British government has been told the Chinese may have lied about the extent of their own outbreak by a factor of 40.
    Wuhan doctor who was among the first to alert other medics to the spread of coronavirus ‘goes missing’ amid fears she has been detained for speaking out.
    At the time of writing, the war against COVID-19 has so far seen the preemptive responses guided under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s direction drawing quantitative applause from global leaders.

    *** The above is really hilarious. If that is true why aren’t the Richest Countries not giving Sri Lanka any money or speaking to him and that is because he is a CERIMINAL, LIAR and a PARDONER making mockery of the Supreme Court Ruling.
    America pumped 2.2 million x million Dollars ( 2.2 Trillion) into its economy and we have heard from Sri Lankan Press that USA gave her 1.3 million which even a Pettah Beggar will throw back in the face. This is what Sri Lankans can expect from the World Corona or no Corona under Gotha and that is why MR frantically ringing Arab Countries for money. MR try African Countries.
    CBK as for your head lines Gotha- D 20 of which there are 6.6 million is the lethal virus which is going to decimate your beloved Country. Unless you join forces with liberal minded people and get rid of the CRIMINAL Sri Lanka is doomed.

  • 0
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  • 0
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    Helasingha Bandara
    Shame on you
    I am ashamed of some of the commentators of Dionysious caliber, the perpetual pessimists who indulge in invariable negativism. Firstly, for them it is the individual who has written the article or the individuals who feature in the article that matter not the contents. The contents of the comments imply either envy, racism, nationalism or political bias. Secondly they write their comments with a whimsical view that they know everything and they are better than everyone else, a trait only the fools bear. I am also ashamed that the administration of CT does not seem to have such foresight to go beyond the policy of “right of freedom of writing”, may be not enough man power to look into everything
    Chandrika Bandaranaike, despite her political career or despite not being a medical expert, specialized researcher or a scientist has written an excellent opinion about the COVID 19 pandemic. Amongst all those second hand views expressed in the articles written by other non-experts that dominate CT at present, this is original and authentic. Please express your views disregarding the NEDs.

  • 2
    1

    Hasn’t anyone seen movies like Contaigon and Flu, to know that plans have been afoot for over 10 years to invoke this virus. Sanjay Gupta was even there saying the same things he is saying now – the Exponential Curve, its flattening, Social Distancing, Masks, Chinese Wet Markets.

    Are humans merely playing out self-fulfilling movie prophesies at this point (after all in the US the flu last year took 35, 000 lives; 85,000 lives the previous year)? All died of the same pneumonia; flu being under the same Coronavirus spectrum.

    Or is it that scientists saw the horror and possible danger of Chinese wet markets, but telling it to Chinese fell on deaf ears?

    Why are there bio-virus labs around Wuhan? Unsure about potential outbreaks ( the Chinese refused to acknowledge that part of their population are into forbidden-flesh eating for spiritual and physical powers…or generally are weird in eating habits), world scientists decided to tentatively research viruses in China.

    Or is it an esoteric global group ushering a New World Order replete with vaccine testing in a non-racial yet eugenics way to get rid of lesser humans of each race?

    Poor Trump is at his wits end trying to balance out the economy with these scientific things. Xi probably is, as well.

    • 0
      0

      Contagion*

  • 0
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  • 2
    2

    I remember well the first time that SL went into lockdown. It was April 5th 1971 and the virus that hit the country gave Chandrika’s mother a big headache. The country went into lockdown, and when they went out they saw bodies floating in the rivers.

    What horrible memories!

  • 1
    1

    CBK my dear

    Look at your beloved Countries latest achievement.
    Gothas Cousin Weeratunga the THIEF has been PARDONED by Colombo Fort Majistrates and he is now free to run his CRIMINAL Enterprise.

    One less fatality to COVID -19 thanks to Gotha -D 20

    World has taken note and has given both Qualitative and Quantitative APPLAUSE.
    At the time of writing, the war against COVID-19 has so far seen the preemptive responses guided under Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s direction drawing quantitative applause from global leaders.

    Dollars might start to flow in but no Pennies or German or French Euros

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