The scientists have no proof that the novel coronavirus was present in China’s Wuhan before December 2019, when the infection outbreak was registered there, Tsinghua University Vanke Public Health School Executive Associate Dean Liang Wannian said at a briefing on the World Health Organization mission work results.
“We have studied the database of pneumonia cases in Wuhan and the Hubei province between July and December 2019,” he said. “There is no evidence that the virus was spreading in Wuhan prior to December 2019,” Liang Wannian said.
According to the scientist, the experts examined medical records in the Wuhan medical facilities made between October 1 and December 10, 2019. Besides, they checked blood sample examinations from the same database. According to Liang Wannian, the scientists sought to reveal potential early cases of coronavirus infection in Wuhan, but found no firm evidence of clinical cases.
The expert also noted that it is impossible to determine how the novel coronavirus got to the seafood market in Wuhan, which is believed to be the epicenter of the initial outbreak.
“The spread of the SARS-CoV-2 was registered in the population of Wuhan in December 2019. Most cases were registered in the second half of that month. Many initial cases were tied to the seafood market, suggesting that this was one of the hotbeds of the virus spread,” Liang Wannian said.
At the same time, “the virus spread in other locations in Wuhan, as well,” he pointed out.
“In December 2019, the SARS-CoV-2 was spreading among the city’s population: while some early cases were tied to the Huanan seafood market, other cases were tied to other markets,” the expert continued, adding that “some cases were not tied to markets at all.”
“It is possible that Huanan market was a virus hotbed, but the virus also spread in other places in Wuhan. Based on the present information, it is impossible to tell how the virus got to the market,” he concluded.