WHO team investigating the origin of coronavirus in China's Wuhan on Tuesday said that there had been no substantial spread of the virus in the city before the late 2019 outbreak.
Liang Wannian, an expert with China’s Health Commission, said that unpublished data suggests that virus that causes COVID-19 could have been circulating in other regions several weeks before the first reported cases in Wuhan at the end of 2019.
Wannian added that the records of 76,000 episodes in Wuhan health centres were analysed. “It’s unlikely that any substantial infection of SARS-CoV2 took place between October and December 2019,” he said.
Addressing a press briefing, Ben Embarek, chairman of the investigating team, said, “Recent Wuhan investigation has uncovered new information but has not dramatically changed the picture of #COVID-19 outbreak.”
The team arrived in Wuhan on January 14 and after two weeks of quarantine, visited key sites like the Huanan seafood market, the location of the first known cluster of infections, as well as the Wuhan Institute of Virology, which has been involved in coronavirus research.