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November 30, 2020

Chinese research claims Covid-19 originated in India

Top Story

 
November 30, 2020

BEIJING: A team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences argues the virus likely originated in India in the summer of 2019 — jumping from animals to humans via contaminated water, reports foreign media.

They said it then travelled unnoticed to Wuhan, where it was first detected. In their paper, the Chinese team used phylogenetic analysis to trace the origins of COVID-19. Viruses, like all cells, mutate as they reproduce, meaning tiny changes occur in their DNA each time they replicate themselves.

The scientists argue their method of investigation rules out the virus found in Wuhan as the ‘original’ virus, and instead points to eight other countries: Bangladesh, the USA, Greece, Australia, India, Italy, Czech Republic, Russia or Serbia.

Researchers go on to argue that because India and Bangladesh both recorded samples with low mutations and are geographic neighbours, it is likely that the first transmission occurred there.

Their theory goes on to say: “The water shortage made wild animals such as monkeys engage in the deadly fight over water among each other and would have surely increased the chance of human-wild animal interactions. We speculated that the [animal to human] transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be associated with this unusual heat wave.

Chinese state media on Novemgber 27 cited the presence of the novel coronavirus on imported frozen food packaging, as well as scientific papers, claiming that the coronavirus was circulating in Europe earlier than previously believed, as evidence that China may not have been its origin.