A Chinese scientist has denied that the coronavirus originated in Wuhan, claiming that it was only the first place it was detected.
The virus, which has been associated with a ‘wet market’ in the central Chinese city since spreading around the world earlier this year, has infected more than 56 million people and killed 1.34 million people so far.
But Zeng Guang, the former chief epidemiologist at the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), says the killer virus is not of Chinese origin.
He said, “Wuhan was where the coronavirus was first discovered, but it wasn’t where it came from.”
Mr. Guang added that China’s previous experience with the equally devastating Sars has left behind a legacy of monitoring and detection that warned them about the coronavirus – and led to their extreme measures to contain the mysterious new disease.
He said, “China has built a world-leading monitoring system to report unknown pneumonia since the SARS outbreak in 2003. We are always on the alert.
“This system allows us to be the first in the world to identify Covid-19.”
His allegations, published by The South China Morning Post, came shortly after another top Chinese scientist claimed that the virus was in fact imported into China via frozen meat – in lieu of the popular theory that it had ‘jumped’ from animals to humans due to unsanitary slaughtering methods in the city’s wet market.
Scientists around the world are currently trying to determine the origins of the devastating flu-like illness.
A new study has called into question when the virus first came into circulation, after evidence of coronavirus antibodies was found in Italian lung cancer patients from September 2019, a whole three months before the virus was spotted in China, until March this year.
The UK is currently under a national lockdown in an effort to get the virus under control before Christmas, in the hope that a new vaccine could be the key to a more ‘normal’ 2021.