LIVE Koopmans (WHO): more research into small corona outbreaks in China

Even now we vaccinate, the coronavirus still causes dislocation globally. The mutants are worried. The British variant is advanging and also the Brazilian and South African variants are approaching. At the same time, economy and society are sighing under suffocating measures. Follow the latest coronan news in this live blog.

The Dutch virologist Marion Koopmans of the World Health Organisation (WHO) wants to further investigate whether there were smaller outbreaks of coronavirus in China before December 2019. It is obvious to look in blood banks that took samples from the Wuhan region in autumn 2019, said Koopmans at a WHO press conference in Geneva.

The researcher was part of a WHO mission recently in China to detect the source of the coronavirus. Access to the blood banks is still being discussed with the Chinese authorities.

According to Koopmans, a medical record assessment in Wuhan identified 92 patients who had symptoms similar to Covid-19 before December 2019 and some of them have been tested for antibodies in recent weeks. They were found not to have them, but it is unclear whether antibodies can still be found after so long.

The team of experts is expected to present a first short report on his findings next week. According to experts, the results presented at a first press conference at the end of the trip in China were moderate.

WHO team boss Peter Ben Embarek confirmed there that the virus, as already assumed, probably spread to humans through an intermediate host of bats. In Geneva, Embarek now spoke of considerable progress. More information has become available about exactly what happened in December in the Wuhan region and what role a market played in the spread of the virus.

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