COVID-19 origin tracing requires international cooperation 06-08-21 05:00 Updated BJT
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By Zhou Fujing


Financial Times reported on July 20 this year that "Italian blood samples revive debate over first signs of Covid in Europe." It said:

"Renewed tests of blood samples collected in Italy as early as October 2019 have revived a debate over whether coronavirus was circulating in Europe before Chinese authorities confirmed the first case in Wuhan."

Researchers tested blood samples from 959 individuals who had been screened for lung cancer from a cancer center in Milan and found that 111 tested positive for antibodies against Covid-19. The earliest sample showing the presence of one type of antibody - IgM - was collected in October 2019. These samples were sent for re-testing to VisMederi laboratory in Siena, Italy and Erasmus University in the Netherlands. It has shown that the novel coronavirus may have been circulating for several months in northern Italy, even before the first cases were reported in China.

The U.S.

The USA Today reported on May 5, 2020 that "Patients in Florida had coronavirus symptoms as early as January." It reports:

"COVID-19 infected as many as 171 people in Florida as long as two months before officials announced it had come to the state, a Palm Beach Post analysis of state records shows. Patients reported symptoms of the deadly virus as early as Jan. 1 when the disease was thought to be limited to China, Department of Health records reveal."

In August 2019, two kinds of virus, rampant influenza and an unknown virus, started to spread at the same time in South America, killing more than 10,000 people.

It takes years to determine the origin of an unknown virus.

It takes 15 yeas to determine the virus origin that resulted in the SARS and, 40 years for Ebola. COVID-19 is an extremely complex disease. It will likely take years or even longer for scientists to fully understand the novel coronavirus, a virus that has caused a global public health crisis of such historic magnitude.

No country or organization should be treated differently on this matter. Without full and transparent cooperation of all affected countries, more questions than answers are likely to arise in the novel coronavirus origin-tracing work.

Millions of Chinese have signed an online petition demanding labs at the Fort Detrick in the US to open for international investigation. More than 50 nations have denounced the attempt to politicizing the origin-tracing work.

In all, the origin-tracing should be continuously promoted in multiple countries and regions around the world. The second stage tracing work of the WHO should focus more on scientific researches, such as the possibility of virus transmission via cold chains.

(The views don't necessarily represent those of the

Editor: zhangrui
06-08-21 05:00 BJT
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