Viral ping pong: Europe and China point at each other

Maybe an Italian coughed at a German who coughed at a quick-frozen item, grabbed it by a Chinese, went to an international sporting event, coughed one, and then the athletes took the disease home to Europe. But it may not. The point is not to divert suspicion to China.

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, who is struggling to deal with the epidemic, has stated countless times and emphatically that the Covid-19 epidemic has broken out in China, hence the origin of the Chinese virus. Trump thus shifted responsibility for having his country laid by the epidemic, even though he was already aware at the beginning of the year that a new type of highly contagious pathogen was flying through the air.

However, according to a recent study in Italy, the virus may have been in Europe as early as September 2019, about three months before the first infections were identified in China. At the same time, five months before the first illnesses were confirmed in Italy.

The Italian National Institute of Oncology study between 950 volunteers were screened for lung cancer between September last year and March this year, and 12 percent of them had antibodies to the virus, or antibodies, in their blood. It takes time for antibody production, so the Italian results suggest that many have already been infected and developed protection.

Giovanni Apolone, co-author of Italian research, filtered that

Italian researchers pointed out that in Lombardy, the number of cases of pneumonia and influenza was higher than average in the last quarter of 2019. Maybe their body was actually fighting the coronavirus.

It is widely regarded as the international mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party Global Times citing experts, he noted:

According to Yang Zhanqiu, deputy head of the department of virology at Wuhan University, it cannot be ruled out that the virus was introduced from abroad. It bases this on the fact that between 10 and 20 November, eight people were confirmed infected with the virus in Tianjin, two of whom were loaders who came into contact with a quick-frozen imported product. Tianjin authorities found coronavirus on several such products in early November.

Zhou Cijun, a professor in the Faculty of Public Health at Peking University, said there was a realistic basis for keeping the virus alive on quick-frozen foods, so it could even have been taken to Wuhan.

Another theory is that the virus was brought home from China by French athletes at the World Military Games in Wuhan last October. THE The Parisian back in the spring, a French newspaper explained that some members of the French delegation of about 400 people could already catch the virus at a sporting event with about 10,000 participants and take it home to Europe. Several of the French riders became ill or returned home struggling with symptoms of a coronavirus infection, but at the time, the complaints were still recorded as flu. And the news site of the public channel M4 Sport about it wrote: Hungarian triathlete Tamás Tóth could also catch the coronavirus during the Wuhan games.

However, there is no evidence that Covid-19 is of Chinese origin, regardless of whether the epidemic first broke out there. China’s perception has deteriorated significantly since the outbreak. The American research institute Pew Research conducted in 14 developed countries in early October polling it paints a devastating picture of how they view China. The vast majority of respondents thought China had done a bad job in dealing with the epidemic. Observers say it is easy to find a scapegoat in China for the economic hardships caused by the pandemic, which – compared to respondents say it handled the situation badly – has since defeated the virus.

Like any other country, China has an interest in having a good international reputation, so it has an interest in not associating the virus with their country.

(Cover image: Police guard outside the closed Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, where the coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan on January 24, 2020. Photo: Hector Retamal / AFP)



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