'Highly speculative' to say coronavirus did not emerge in China

29 Novembre, 2020, 10:29 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Chinese researchers now claim COVID-19 virus originated in India

China scientists have claimed that COVID-19 may have originated in India or Bangladesh.

Coroanvirus first emerged in China in December 2019, linked to a cluster of cases of "pneumonia of unknown origin" at a seafood market in the city. "We speculated that the [animal to human] transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be associated with this unusual heatwave".

The paper, published on SSRN, includes data of research conducted into strains of the virus provided by 17 different countries. Recently, Chinese scientists in a statement said that the virus was developed and released by India. Scientists use this as an ancestral reference to examine the evolutionary history of the bug but the bat virus is not the human virus' ancestor. But the Chinese claim has been severely criticized by a number of scholars around the world.

According to the research paper, strains with the most mutations have been around for a longer time and those with fewer mutations are closer to the original ancestor of the novel coronavirus.

The scientists argue their method of the investigation rules out the virus found in Wuhan as the "original" virus, and instead points to eight other countries: Bangladesh, US, Greece, Australia, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia or Serbia.

Researchers further argue that India's poor healthcare system and young population - who suffer less severe symptoms of Covid - allowed the virus to spread undetected for several months. "This paper adds nothing to our understanding of SARS-CoV-2", he said.

However, the findings are still a preprint and are yet to be peer-reviewed.

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The WHO has been accused by the Trump administration of being "China-centric", allegations it has repeatedly denied. Mukesh Thakur, a virologist working with the Indian government, told the South China Morning Post the conclusions were a "misinterpretation". Dr Shen has said he welcomes scrutiny of his paper, adding: "Only by doing so can it be rightfully refuted or accepted".

'Our result shows that Wuhan is not the place where human-to-human SARS-CoV-2 transmission first happened, ' they wrote.

In a paper published by the scientists at the Shanghai Institute for Biological Sciences it was claimed that virus existed on the Indian subcontinent before the Wuhan outbreak in December previous year.

Since the corona virus emerged in Wuhan in December past year; before turning into a global pandemic with; the worldwide death toll crossing over 1.4 million. The blame from Beijing comes amid such tensions.

He repeated that the World Health Organization meant to send researchers to the Wuhan food market to probe the virus origins further.

China is implementing a tougher strategy against the entry of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus from overseas, as it linked its latest outbreaks to frozen foods and containers that arrived from other parts of the world.

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