‘Covid-19 outbreak in China was more pronounced than previously thought’

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on February 15, 2021 Published on February 15, 2021

The WHO team speculated that there were many strains of the virus already in circulation in Wuhan in December 2019, according to media reports

A team of the World Health Organization (WHO) that went to investigate the origins of the coronavirus in Wuhan, China, maintained that the outbreak was more pronounced in China in December 2019 than previously thought, CNN reported.

The team is now urgently seeking access to hundreds and thousands of blood samples which the country has not let them examine so far.

The lead investigator for the WHO mission, Peter Ben Embarek, told CNN in an interview that the team has found several signs of the more wide-ranging Covid-19 spread.

The team speculated that there were many strains of the virus already in circulation in Wuhan in December 2019.

Embarek, who recently came back to Switzerland from Wuhan, told CNN: "The virus was circulating widely in Wuhan in December, which is a new finding."

The team estimated that in December 2019, Chinese doctors already had over 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

Last week, the White House expressed concerns over the initial findings of the WHO expert team on the origins of Covid-19 in China, as per previous reports.

United States (US) National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had said in a statement: “We have deep concerns about the way in which the early findings of the Covid-19 investigation were communicated and questions about the process used to reach them… To better understand this pandemic and prepare for the next one, China must make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak.”

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Published on February 15, 2021
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