China has long been identified as being the epicentre of the deadly virus which has now recorded 529,878 deaths worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) will begin a scoping mission in Beijing within days to establish the cause of the outbreak. But ahead of the critical mission, one of China’s top researchers, Wang Guangfa insisted the WHO should also go to Spain.
The senior Chinese official referenced researchers in Barcelona who stated they’d detected COVID-19 in ‘wastewater’ in March last year.
Chief of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Zeng Guang also said: “It does not matter which country the scientific identification work starts with, as long as it involves all related countries and is fairly conducted.”
He added that the presence of Covid-19 in a sample in the Catalan capital, nine months before the disease was first reported in Wuhan, pointed to a different potential origin of the outbreak. So far the hunt for information has centred around the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan.
China has long been accused of hiding the true details of the virus – something they have repeatedly denied.
Some Tory MPs such as chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, Tom Tugendhat and former Conservative party leader, Sir Iain Duncan-Smith have criticised China’s reaction to the outbreak which hit the city of Wuhan.
Coronavirus: China hits back at coronavirus allegations
Coronavirus: China has been criticised for its handling of the virus
Donald Trump’s top trade adviser, Peter Navarro also claimed China had deliberately allowed people to enter the country in order to spread the virus worldwide.
He said: “What they deliberately did – and this is beyond reproach in terms of the facts – they deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come into the US, Italy and everywhere in between, who were infected, while they were locking down their own transportation network.”
Beijing has responded angrily to US claims, in particular, that they allowed coronavirus to spread across the globe.
Scientists have claimed, it is essential to understand how and where the outbreak occurred.
Coronavirus: The WHO will begin its mission next week
By doing this scientists believe can they prepare and stop any future outbreaks.
Director general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of the WHO said: “Knowing the source of the virus is very, very important.
“We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started.”
Last month, the EU accused China of running disinformation campaigns inside the European Union.
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The accusation was the first time the EU Commission has publicly claimed Beijing has been behind any disinformation within the bloc.
The claim was also levelled against Russia.
Vĕra Jourová, a European commission vice-president, told reporters: “I believe if we have evidence we should not shy away from naming and shaming.
Coronavirus: World statistics as of July 3
“What we also witnessed is a surge in narratives undermining our democracies and in effect our response to the crisis, for example, the claim there are secret US biological laboratories on former Soviet republics has been spread by both pro-Kremlin outlets, as well as Chinese officials and state media.
“I strongly believe that a geopolitically strong EU can only materialise if we are assertive.”
Coronavirus: Donald Trump has also hit out at Beijing
Earlier this year, Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, hinted the US army could have brought coronavirus to Wuhan.