File photo Photograph:( Reuters )
China had reported the first case on December 31 which experts say was very late as the virus has already begun to take hold
As China and US squabble over the origin of coronavirus with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo terming it "Wuhan virus", a report has emerged which points to the first case being reported on November 17.
A Hong Kong newspaper reported that the first case has been traced after going through government data.
The report says Chinese government officials had identified 266 people who were infected with the virus and were under scanner by Chinese medical officials. Scientists have been trying to map the pattern of the virus in Wuhan where it first emerged.
China had reported the first case on December 31 which experts say was very late as the virus has already begun to take hold. The report claims China had already 60 confirmed cases of the virus by December 20 last year. The South China Morning Post claims a 55-year-old, known as "patient zero" could have been the first victim of the virus, however, it hasn't been confirmed.
Meanwhile, the spat between China and United States over the origin of the virus took another turn today after the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said it might have been "the US Army that brought" the virus to Wuhan.
"When did patient zero begin in US? How many people are infected? What are the names of the hospitals? It might be US army who brought the epidemic to Wuhan. Be transparent! Make public your data! US owe us an explanation!, Lijian alleged.
Several US officials including US President Trump have pointed to the origin being from Wuhan.