[By Sopuruchi Onwuka]
Search for clues into the origin of coronavirus in humans ran into glitches in China as investigations by World Health Organization (WHO) officials could not achieve the main goal of pinning down the route of the virus from animals to man.
Instead, the team of experts dispatched to Chinese cities that recorded the first mass outbreaks of the virus discovered that the records trailed behind initial outbreaks which escaped attention in China and other cities of the world.
The initial clinical cases of the virus, according to the outcome of investigations, predate the Wuhan outbreak of December 2019, from where massive spread across the globe began. Some European cities and countries including Italy already recorded symptoms of the virus earlier than December 2019, the WHO team stated in a report.
The Oracle Today reports that the WHO team of experts were dispatched to China to attempt tracking the transmission mediums of the pathogen from the classic bat hosts to man. And it was believed that the live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China provided fertile grounds for pathogen transmission to people in the market.
The research was to aid understanding of the transmission mode of coronavirus and assist in defining development of paths towards evolution of medical remedies to the disease which has stalled global economic growth, killed millions of people and still keeps millions in hospitals.
It was believed that coronavirus originated from China, with European and American leaders accusing China of running laboratory research that provided the basis for a leak from a Wuhan facility late December of 2019.
But the WHO reported in its findings that that the virus was already in circulation in China and Europe earlier than official confirmed cases, with indications that the virus might have spread as far as the United States as early as December 2019.
Local protesters in China who accuse the government of manipulating information access to the WHO team contend in isolated reports that the scale and timelines of the virus outbreak in the country remain government secret.
But an official report by the WHO team sent to China in January to investigate the virus’ origins and when it started circulating showed that spread started globally months before initial cases captured global attention last December.
According to secondary reports, the WHO team assessed medical records from more than 230 clinics across Hubei – the province where Wuhan is located – to look for clues. More than 90 patients in the province were hospitalized with pneumonia or coronavirus-like symptoms in October and November 2019.
The Oracle Today reports that as at Thursday, global coronavirus cases stood at 107 million patients out of which 60.1 million people recovered while 2.36 million people died. The rest remain hospitalized. Nearly equal numbers of cases are unreported or asymptomatic especially in developing countries where facilities are grossly inadequate.