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Coronavirus may have been in China in August, Harvard research shows; China says ‘Ridiculous’

Vishnu Vasisht

Harvard Medical School has revealed in its research that the coronavirus started to spread in China since early August last year. However, China has described the report as 'ridiculous'. This research has been done using satellite imagery of Wuhan Hospital parking lot. The disease was first identified in Wuhan in late 2019. This research has been done on the basis of search data for symptoms like cough and diarrhea. According to the research, "Hospital traffic and symptom search data in Wuhan was prior to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic in December 2019".

Scientists at Harvard Medical School have studied photographs of the city of Wuhan with the help of satellite imagery. A large number of crowds are seen outside the hospitals of Wuhan city in this image. Research has said that this congestion can only occur due to infection.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying dismissed the findings of the research in a daily press briefing on Tuesday. She said "I think it is ridiculous, incredibly ridiculous, based on superficial comments like traffic volume, to this conclusion".

Many countries in the WHO have demanded that it should be ascertained from where the corona virus originated. China's official newspaper Global Times wrote in its editorial that China has no objection to the investigation but it should be impartial. The Global Times editorial reads, "Some Western media outlets are claiming China is facing unprecedented pressure and will be isolated at this year's conference".

China said "a scientific investigation should be done but first it should be under the leadership of WHO rather than any country or regional organization. Second, the investigation should be scientific and unbiased. There is a need to include not only China-related factors but also the US and other countries".

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