Sunday 23 January 2022
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August 2019 was when coronavirus surfaced; China hid outbreak

In August, there was an increase in searches for diarrhoea, neither seen in previous flu seasons nor mirrored in the cough search data, says the Harvard Medical School

The novel coronavirus disease broke out in China as early as August 2019 according to the result of a probe by Harvard Medical School based on images of hospital travel patterns and search engine data. The academic investigators used satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan — where the disease was first identified in late 2019 — and data for symptom-related queries on search engines for things such as “cough” and “diarrhoea”.

“Increased hospital traffic and symptom search data in Wuhan preceded the documented start of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in December 2019,” says the investigation results.

“While we cannot confirm if the increased volume was directly related to the new virus, our evidence supports other recent work showing that emergence happened before identification at the Huanan Seafood market (in Wuhan).”

“These findings also corroborate the hypothesis that the virus emerged naturally in southern China and was potentially already circulating at the time of the Wuhan cluster,” according to the research.

It showed a steep increase in hospital car park occupancy in August 2019. “In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhoea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data,” according to the research.

Sirf News’ research a few months ago had yielded that the outbreak happened in September. The Harvard Medical School study pushes the date of the outbreak further back by a month whereas China claims it didn’t know about the disease until 27 December 2019.

China has dismissed today’s report as “incredibly ridiculous”.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, asked about the research at a daily press briefing on Tuesday, dismissed the findings.

“I think it is ridiculous, incredibly ridiculous, to come up with this conclusion based on superficial observations such as traffic volume,” she said.

Coronavirus cases worldwide: 72 lakh 34 thousand 616 (view by country)

Deaths: 4 lakh 9 thousand 468

Recovered: 35 lakh 63 thousand 544

Active cases: 32 lakh 61 thousand 604

Currently infected: 32 lakh 7 thousand 731 (98%) in mild condition; 53 thousand 873 (2%) serious or critical

Closed cases: 39 lakh 73 thousand 12

Cases which had an outcome: 35 lakh 63 thousand 544 (90%) recovered and/or discharged; 4 lakh 9 thousand 468 (10%) deaths

Confirmed: 267K+9,983Recovered: 129KDeaths: 7,466+271
Coronavirus disease (COVID) in India today
Tamil Nadu33,229+1,56217,527286+17
‘+’ shows new cases reported yesterday

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