Pointing to an alleged role of the US in spreading the COVID-19 pandemic, a Chinese epidemiologist has demanded a second round of probe to narrow down on the ground zero of the pandemic, soon after a recent study found that the US had viral incidents as early as December 2019, weeks before it reported the first COVID cases.
Reports said Zeng Guang, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, told Global Times that the US delayed testing its people for COVID-19 at an early stage of the pandemic and that it has several biological laboratories across the world that churn out bio-weapons.
“All bio-weapons related subjects that the country has should be subject to scrutiny,” he was quoted as saying.
China’s blame is fueled by a recent study by the US National Institutes for Health (NIH) which stated that at least seven people in five US states had Sars-CoV-2 much before the country officially reported its first case. The research was based on 20,000 blood samples collected from 50 states between January 2 and March 18 last year.
Researchers found anti-bodies against COVID-19 in nine of the collected samples, all from outside Seattle and New York City, the entry point for the virus. According to the study, positive cases were found in places such as Illinois, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin as early as January 7.
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The US, on the other hand, had been blaming China for the outbreak of the pandemic, demanding a second phase of investigation into its origins amid rumours that the virus was leaked from a Wuhan laboratory, the first epicenter of the virus in China.
However, a joint study by the World Health Organisation and China has dismissed these rumours by stating that the virus most likely originated in China’s wildlife trade.