American scientists admitted that the coronavirus epidemic could have started in Wuhan last summer, according to ABC News.
A group of scientists led by professor at Harvard Medical School John Brownstein tracked the dynamics of congestion of parking spaces at the largest hospitals in the city over the past two years from images from private satellites.
It turned out that the number of cars in hospital parking lots began to increase sharply since August 2019. In the fall, workload peaked. So, on October 10, 285 cars were parked at the Tianyu hospital, while a year earlier there were only 171.
The increase was 67 percent, and on some days reached 90 percent, the researchers noted.
Satellite data suggests #coronavirus may have hit China earlier: researchers
A team led by @johnbrownstein of @harvardmed “observed a dramatic increase in hospital traffic outside five major Wuhan hospitals beginning late summer and early fall 2019.” https://t.co/QUmdvKPles pic.twitter.com/rXGlDiUR8X
— David Paulk 波大卫 (@davidpaulk) June 8, 2020
They also examined the queries of users on the Chinese search engine Baidu. As noted, in the beginning of autumn, people began to look more often for information about cough and diarrhea – symptoms that, as it turned out later, are characteristic of coronavirus infection.
According to the head of the group, it is impossible to speak with full confidence about the connection between traffic growth and the COVID-19 epidemic. However, researchers believe it is obvious that the situation in Wuhan has worsened even before the outbreak of the virus in the seafood market.
An outbreak of unknown pneumonia was recorded in Wuhan at the end of December, and on the last day of the year, Chinese authorities reported it to the World Health Organization.
As it turned out, the causative agent of the disease was a new type of coronavirus, later the disease was officially named COVID-19. Tough quarantine measures were introduced in China in January, but it was not possible to contain the spread of infection, and on March 11, WHO announced a worldwide pandemic.
Source: RIA NOVOSTI (translated from Russian)