An Italian professor has said he is ‘certain’ that the new corona virus appeared in Wuhan for the first time after Chinese state media linked the pandemic’s origins to Italy, which has been plagued by the bug.
Professor Giuseppe Remuzzi claimed that, based on genetic studies, “there was no doubt that the virus had arrived in Italy from China” before Beijing informed the world of the outbreak.
In an email to MailOnline, he said investigations revealed the bug had been brought to Italy by a German who had been in contact with a Chinese.
Professor Remuzzi (pictured) said there is “no doubt that the virus has arrived in Italy from China” after Chinese media used his comments to suggest Italy as the birthplace of the pandemic
Professor Remuzzi is the director of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan.
The expert born in Bérgamo added, “One should consider the possibility that, quite understandably, the emergence of this unfortunate event in China probably took place long before the health authorities realized it, given the number of asymptomatic carriers.”
An asymptomatic carrier is someone who is infected with the disease but has no symptoms.
The Bérgamo-born professor said studies showed that the bug was brought to Italy by a German who had been in contact with a Chinese. In the photo, an Italian coronavirus patient arrives at Helios Hospital in Leipzig, Germany on March 25
His comments come after Beijing’s state-run news organizations flocked to report that the deadly disease in Italy could have originated before China, using his quotes from an earlier interview.
Last week, Professor Remuzzi said in an interview that local doctors remember seeing very strange pneumonia [sic], very serious, especially in the elderly, in December and even in November. ‘
He told the American news organization NPR“It means that the virus was circulating in Lombardy at least before we were aware of this outbreak in China.”
His comments were quickly taken up by the tightly controlled press from China, proving that the global health crisis has not started in China.
State newspaper World times reported that “the virus may have spread in Italy before the epidemic breaks out in China.”
While the state channel CCTV quoted another interview by Professor Remuzzi to emphasize that “unknown pneumonia appeared in Italy as early as October last year.”
Red Cross workers wearing protective suits return to Red Cross headquarters after transporting a COVID-19 patient to a hospital in Turin on March 25
Professor Remuzzi emphasized that the comments he made to NPR were based on the information provided to him by other doctors and that he had “no scientific evidence” to prove the allegations.
He said, “These are rumors from a small number of people and impressions from some doctors who have not confirmed to me that they had seen bilateral pneumonia before January.”
He underlined that there was no evidence that these patients had COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
A man carries a dog on March 26 in a park in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China
Interestingly, the attention of the Chinese media for Professor Remuzzi’s comments seems to contradict their reports of the first coronavirus patients in Italy.
Cover News, an outlet under state-owned Sichuan Daily Group, reported that the very first confirmed patients of COVID-19 in Italy were a couple from Wuhan.
The article, released Monday, said the couple arrived in Italy on January 23 and were treated in Rome.
Beijing now rejects the generally accepted assessment that the city of Wuhan is the birthplace of the global outbreak after the number of daily infections there had fallen to zero but had risen sharply in Europe.
Epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan, 83, said at a news conference yesterday that there was no evidence that the virus was from Wuhan. “The epidemic of the new coronavirus pneumonia did indeed take place in China, in Wuhan … but that doesn’t mean the source is in Wuhan,” he said
The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention said in January that the coronavirus had been transmitted to humans from wildlife sold as food on the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market.
Dr. However, Zhong Nanshan, the leader of a team of experts appointed by China to address the health crisis, last week denied that the bug was from Wuhan and dismissed such a claim as “irresponsible.”
“The epidemic of the new coronavirus pneumonia did indeed take place in China, in Wuhan … but that does not mean the source is in Wuhan,” said Dr. Zhong at a news conference.
The pandemic has killed more than 22,000 people to date and infected more than 486,000 worldwide.
Italy has become the country with the most coronavirus fatalities in the world, with more than 7,500 killed.
It is followed by Spain, which reported at least 4,080 deaths, and then China, where more than 3,280 people died.
China blows out ‘sinister’ US Secretary of State Pompeo after calling bug ‘Wuhan virus’
Pompeo’s call to identify the virus by name as the ‘Wuhan virus’ at a virtual meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 7
China is strongly committed to urging U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to call the deadly new corona virus the “Wuhan virus” after the city in China where it was first discovered.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said on Thursday that it was an attempt to “stigmatize China and discredit China’s efforts in an effort to divert attention and shift responsibilities.”
“He has a very sinister motive,” Geng told reporters daily.
Geng also defended China’s efforts to tackle the virus and denied that it wanted to place responsibility for the outbreak elsewhere.
China has been accused of attempts to suppress information about the outbreak at an early stage, and some of its diplomats have openly suggested that the virus may have been brought to China from the United States.
Pompeo’s call to identify the virus by name as the “Wuhan virus” at a virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the Group of seven leading industrialized countries resulted in their choice not to release a group statement.
The World Health Organization and others have warned against giving the virus a geographical name due to its global nature.
President Donald Trump has strayed from those terms because critics have said they promote discriminatory feelings and behaviors against Asians and Asian Americans.