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Highlights:

  • A top scientist noted in the journal Science that the first case of COVID-19 traced in Wuhan was actually days later than previously believed
  • Michael Worobey is one of the 15 experts who published a column in science
  • Peter Daszak who is a disease expert and a member of WHO investigation team, voiced that he was convinced by Worobey’s analysis

On Thursday, a top scientist noted in the journal Science that the first case of COVID-19 traced in Wuhan, China and disclosed as such by the World Health Organization (WHO) was actually days later than previously believed and at an animal market.

Virologist Michael Worobey further disclosed, rather than the original patient is a man who had never been to Wuhan market where wild and domestic animals were sold, the first known case of COVID-19 turns out to have been a woman who had worked in the market.

According to Worobey, this key piece of information and his analysis on the early cases of COVID-19 in the city, clearly suggests that the scales towards the virus have originated in an animal. With no certain evidence, the debate has stirred among the experts since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michael Worobey is one of the 15 experts who published a column in science urging serious consideration of the thesis that states the virus had leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan. In this article, he claimed that his research into the origin of the outbreak facilitates strong evidence of a live-animal market origin of the pandemic.

One condemnation of the market theory was that because health authorities raised the alert about cases of a suspicious disease associated with the market as early as Dec 30, 2019, that would have initiated a bias that followed to the identification of more cases there than elsewhere, since attention had already been drawn to it.

To defend that argument, the virologist analyzed cases registered by two hospitals prior to the issue of alert. The cases were also mostly connected to the market, and the rest were from areas geographically concentrated around it.

In an interview with a publication, Worobey mentioned, “In this city of 11 million people, half of the early cases are linked to a place that’s the size of a soccer field.” He added that it’s become very difficult to explain that pattern if the outbreak didn’t start at the market.

Furthermore, another criticism of the theory was focused on the fact that the first case identified was unrelated to the market. On the other hand, while the WHO report asserted the man who was originally identified as patient Zero had been ill from December 8, he actually was not sick from December 16, as per Worobey.

The deduction was concentrated on a video interview he assessed from a case described in a scientific article and from a hospital medical record that corresponded with the 41-year-old man. This means that the first report case would be the woman who worked in the market, who fell sick on December 11.

Meanwhile, Peter Daszak who is a disease expert and a member of the WHO investigation team, voiced that he was convinced by Worobey’s analysis. “That December 8 date was a mistake”, he affirmed.

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