Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – A leading epidemiologist from China, Zeng Guang said that the Corona virus, which has infected 56 million people worldwide, did not start in Wuhan, China.
He said, Wuhan is the place where the Corona virus was first identified, but this vicious virus did not start from that city.
“Wuhan is where the Corona virus was first detected but not where it came from,” said Zeng Guang, who is also a former chief epidemiologist at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as quoted. South China Morning Post, Sunday (22/11/2020).
The comments came as a team formed by the World Health Organization (WHO) investigated the origins of the coronavirus. The investigation, which began late last month, began with an online meeting between Chinese scientists and the WHO team.
During the forum, Zeng quoted a study in Italy showing that Sars-CoV-2, the official name for the coronavirus, was circulating among asymptomatic individuals in Italy a few months earlier which was reported in Wuhan in December 2019.
Meanwhile, Wu Zunyou, CDC chief epidemiologist said the pathogen could enter the country in imports of frozen seafood or meat products.
“The study found that specific antibodies to Sars-CoV-2 were detected in blood samples collected in lung cancer screening trials between September 2019 and March this year,” said Zeng.
According to peer-reviewed research, 11.6 percent of 959 healthy volunteers had developed coronavirus antibodies prior to February. In Milan, Italian researchers say their study does not dispute the origin of the coronavirus.
“These findings only document that the epidemic in China was not detected in time,” said Giovanni Apolone, scientific director of the National Cancer Institute and co-author of the study.
At an online conference, Zeng said the coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan thanks to the establishment of a pneumonia monitoring system established after the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, 17 years ago.
“China has built a world-leading monitoring system for reporting unknown pneumonia since the SARS outbreak in 2003. We are always on high alert,” he said. “Thanks to this system, we can be the first in the world to identify Covid-19.”
China says the Italian study and other similar studies show that the origin of the virus is a complex scientific issue, and tracing origins is an ongoing process that may involve multiple countries.
“China will continue to take part in global scientific research in tracing the origin and route of transmission of the virus, and work with other international communities to contribute to global cooperation in fighting Covid-19 and other viruses,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian. .
Previously, a new study found that the Covid-19 corona virus had been circulating in Italy since September 2019, not February 2020 as previously reported.
This is the result of research from the National Cancer Institute (INT) city of Milan, Italy. This research has the initial conclusion that the Covid-19 virus has spread outside of China earlier in the reports.