China is using a new study on the hidden early spread of the coronavirus in Italy to discredit the established assumption that the Asian country was the birthplace of the epidemic, according to reports.
Officials in Beijing are pressing Mr. A new study suggests The infection may have spread in the European country as early as September – three months before confirmation of its spread in the long-supposed epicenter of the Chinese city of Wuhan, The Times of London noted.
The Asian nation has also previously questioned Spain about the origins of the pandemic, as has the US military, claiming this Bringing the virus to Wuhan In October last year during the World Military Games, the report said.
Chinese state media has been aggressively promoting the idea that the new study by the National Cancer Institute proves that the infection most likely started in Italy, not China, according to the UK newspaper.
“This once again shows that tracing the source of the virus is a complex scientific question that should be left to scientists,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, according to the UK Times. “[It] It is an evolving process that may involve several countries. “
The World Health Organization has recognized the possibility that the virus “spread silently elsewhere” before it was discovered in Wuhan.
However, many scientists are skeptical of the results of the Italian study – and others note that it does not exclude the coronavirus that originated in China.
“We know that China has delayed announcing the outbreak, so there is no word when it started there, and China has very strong trade links with northern Italy,” Giovanni Apollon of the National Cancer Institute in Milan told the UK Times.