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Reports claim China concealed Covid related info from WHO
CNN has reported that the team found several signs of a much bigger outbreak in December 2019 than was believed.
China's behaviour with the expert team constituted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to investigate the coronavirus (Covid-19) has led to more speculation about the virus that traces its origins to Wuhan in central China. Various news reports have made it clear that the WHO team worked under limitations and did not have access to all information it sought on the initial days of the outbreak.
CNN has reported that the team found several signs of a much bigger outbreak in December 2019 than was believed. WHO expert Peter Ben Embarek, the head of the international expert team, told CNN in an interview that the team is trying to access hundreds of thousands of blood samples from Wuhan which China is not allowing them to do.
A significant finding for the team was the existence of over a dozen strains of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan in December. Embarek said the scientists gathered 13 different genetic sequences of SARS-CoV-2 from December 2019, which could provide significant clues about the origin and scale of the outbreak provided they are able to examine this along with wider patient data from 2019.
This large number of virus sequences has led scientists to believe that the virus was in circulation in Wuhan for a much longer time than December. Embarek also told CNN that the different genetic sequences were from different places, including some from the Huanan seafood market.
The 17-member WHO team worked alongside another 17 scientists and experts from China. Of the one month the team spent in China, it had to spend 15 days in quarantine in Wuhan.
What has also become clear from the statements given by various team members after coming out from China, almost a week back, is that their investigating powers were significantly limited by Beijing. The communist country was not only opposed to an independent and international investigation into the genesis of the virus but also tried to pin the blame of the origins of the Covid-19 virus on other countries.