(Not sure if this is the right SE for this question. I'm asking this here, because I'm looking for a biological answer, if one exists.)

This (potentially very naive) question is inspired by this news article: Bats for sale at Indonesia's wildlife market despite virus warning

Bats, rats and snakes are still being sold at an Indonesian market known for its wildlife offerings, despite a government request to take them off the menu over fears of a link to the deadly coronavirus.

Why would the government request to take the meat of these animals off the market? Even if they're linked to the coronavirus, the virus presumably can be killed by cooking the meat prior to consumption. After all, protein denatures well before 100 degrees celsius, and once it denatures the organism should die. Conceivably the virus could affect the handlers of these animals prior to their being cooked, but not the consumers.

Some paragraphs later in the article illustrate my confusion:

Restaurateur Lince Rengkuan -- who serves bats including their heads and wings stewed in coconut milk and spices -- says the secret is preparation.

"If you don't cook the bat well then of course it can be dangerous," she said.

"We cook it thoroughly and so far the number of customers hasn't gone down at all."

Which is effectively what I've been thinking, but:

"We're also urging people not to consume meat from animals suspected to be carriers of a fatal disease," said Ruddy Lengkong, head of the area's government trade and industry agency.

How are these two seemingly-contradictory positions reconciled?

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    $\begingroup$ Unless the "handlers" are completely isolated from all other humans then diseases could be easily passed from bat to "handler" to "customers". ——— Your question also could be interpreted as assuming that the "handlers" are expendable ... $\endgroup$ – tyersome Feb 14 '20 at 5:30
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's asking about government regulatory decisions, not biology; the OP in comments has already rejected a biology-based answer. $\endgroup$ – iayork Feb 14 '20 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ @allure You say, if the handlers are the ones the government is concerned about, why didn't they say so? If that's your question, you're asking us to read the mind of government regulation writers, which is about as far from biology as you can get. Your question as written is about the thinking of the regulatory agency; if you want a biology based answer, rewrite your question to ask that, and don't reject the biology-based answer as you do in comments. $\endgroup$ – iayork Feb 14 '20 at 13:49
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    $\begingroup$ It's not about the safety of bat meat, it's about bat viruses being transmitted to other animals through which the virus can then jump to humans, not just handlers but any shopper. And, no, these animals aren't raised on farms, they're caught in the wild, and sold in illegal markets (well, they used to be illegal, and they are again now, for just this reason.) $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 14 '20 at 20:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Allure - The question as an answer above. Eating cooked bat meat isn't dangerous for acquiring coronavirus. Either you're asking the wrong question or you don't understand why governments are closing down (exotic) wildlife markets. $\endgroup$ – anongoodnurse Feb 15 '20 at 18:17

Restaurateur Lince Rengkuan is correct - once the bat meat is cooked the coronavirus will die, and the meat is safe to consume.

The Indonesian government isn't imposing restrictions for biological reasons, but for other reasons; these other reasons are out of scope of this SE.


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