China has decided to test thousands of blood samples from the city of Wuhan to investigate the origin of Covid-19. The move comes from the increasing demand for transparency over the origin of the virus. A bulk of blood samples around 200,000 was highlighted by the World Health Organization’s team of investigators. These samples are taken as a source of key information that could help to determine when and where the virus first entered the human body.
The samples are mostly taken in the closing months of 2019 and are kept in the Wuhan Blood center. These samples provide real-time tissue samples from a large population of Wuhan city where SARS-COV-2 is considered to have the first infected human being.
According to Chinese officials, the samples are retained for almost 2 years. They can be provided as evidence in any lawsuits. China’s National Health Commission told CNN that preparations for the testing are currently underway. The confirmed testing will start as soon as the two years limit is reached.
International community pressurizing China to allow foreign experts to observe testing procedures
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations said that the real-time samples will provide a better understanding of the outbreak of the virus.
According to Maureen Miller, the associate professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, the blood samples will provide important clues. She added that China should permit foreign experts to observe the whole process. Otherwise, no one will accept the reports provided by the Chinese.
The Chinese head on the WHO investigation, Liang Wannian said in a news conference that China will test the samples. Once Chinese experts get results, they will be shared with both Chinese and foreign experts. Liang further added that the samples came from the opening tube of a donor blood pouch. It was properly sealed, closed, and then stored. The Chinese experts made several assessments and evaluations on the testing procedures and will be implemented after the expiry of the two-years limit.
Liang said that the first case was reported on December 8 in Wuhan city. The current and previous research of Chinese suggests that there were possible cases before December 8.
Dr. William Schaffner, from the Vanderbilt University Department of Medicine’s infectious disease division, said the samples provided some good opportunities and it can help find the exact month and where it first infected the human population in Wuhan. He suggested the samples to be brought to Geneva or some other destination. On a neutral venue WHO experts can take part in the testing
Huang said it was not clear how much the outside world would trust the findings of the testing process. He declared this as an opportunity for China to convince the world that they are serious about depoliticizing the origins probe.
US administration doubt Chinese experts findings
The US administration carried out a 90 days review over how the virus originated. Yet it is not clear that either it is a natural transmission from animals to humans or it is a laboratory leak.
President Joe Biden, on receiving a report of 90-days review, said: “Critical information about the origins of this pandemic exists in the People’s Republic of China, yet from the beginning, government officials in China have worked to prevent international investigators and members of the global public health community from accessing it.”
On the other hand, China is insisting that it is going to test thousands of blood samples. Chinese has been very helpful to the WHO experts. The theory that the virus leaked from the laboratory is unproven claims.