Wuhan’s research facility could be ground zero for outbreak

Researchers say they may have localized the source of the deadly coronavirus when the death toll increased after 1600.

Scientist from the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou wrote and published a paper Speculation that a disease control center near a Wuhan seafood market could be zero for the virus.

Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao wrote that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention was the potential source as it “housed laboratory animals for research purposes”, including bats, and “within 280 meters of the Huanan seafood market where there have been some early infections have been reported.

In the newspaper titled The possible origins of the 2019 nCoV corona virusResearchers said that “41 people in Wuhan had acute respiratory syndrome and 27 of them had contact with the Huanan Seafood Market.”

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They wrote: “According to municipal reports and statements from 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a source of food in the city, and no bat was traded on the market.”

The research facility was also next to the Union Hospital, where the first group of doctors was infected.

At one point, a WCDCP staff member was “once attacked by bats and the blood of a bat was shot at his skin,” the researchers said.

“He knew the extreme risk of infection and quarantined for 14 days,” the scientists wrote.

“In another accident, he quarantined again because bats peed on him. He was once thrilled to have caught a bat with a live tick. “

The facility staff routinely extracted tissue samples from the bats, but this was not the only facility in the region that did so.

The second laboratory, the Wuhan Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was 12 km from the fish market.

The scientists wrote that the institute reported that Chinese horseshoe bats were natural reservoirs for the SARS virus that caused the 2002 pandemic and that “someone was involved in the development of the 2019 nCoV corona virus.”

The seafood market was closed under quarantine procedures when the virus outbreak began, but the authorities have still not determined how it started.

According to the daily report from the Chinese authorities, the number of fatalities in mainland China increased to 1665 over the weekend after 142 more deaths were recorded.

In the central province of Hubei, the epicenter of the virus, however, the number of new cases slowed by a third day in a row to 1843. More than 68,500 people were infected across the country.

Elsewhere, the fifth death outside of mainland China was recorded when Taiwan reported its first victim.

Earlier victims came from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and France. The Taiwanese victim is a 61-year-old unlicensed taxi driver whose “main customers were people who had been to China, Hong Kong and Macau,” said Health and Social Affairs Minister Chen Shih-chung.

The number of new infections increased further in Japan. Six new cases were reported on Sunday, most of them in Tokyo.

Forty Americans are also among hundreds with the new corona virus on a cruise ship that has been quarantined off Japan, a US official said on Sunday after other Americans left home on board for charter flights.

The Diamond Princess was placed in a 14-day quarantine in early February after a former passenger tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

A Melbourne woman on board was also tested positive.

Several governments have announced plans to remove their citizens from the ship.

Australians who have visited Wuhan and have been quarantined on Christmas Island will return to mainland Australia after no reported cases of the virus have been found.

– – with AFP

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