Harvard Medical School research says spread of virus started in August

Edited By: Palki Sharma WION
New Delhi Published: Jun 09, 2020, 09:17 PM(IST)

Coronavirus pandemic Photograph:( AFP )

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Russia is at number three with more than 4 lakh 84,000 cases followed by the UK with over 2 lakh 88,000 cases and  40,000 deaths.

More than 71 lakh infections. More than 4 lakh deaths. This is what the virus from Wuhan has done to the world. Here are the latest numbers. The US still leads in coronavirus cases with more than 19 lakh 61,000 and counting. The death toll is more than 1,01,100.

Following America is Brazil with more than 7 lakh 7000 cases and over 37,000 deaths.

Russia is at number three with more than 4 lakh 84,000 cases followed by the UK with over 2 lakh 88,000 cases and  40,000 deaths. India remains on the fifth spot. More than 2 lakh 68,000 cases. Out of this, 1 lakh 29,000 are active cases. 1 lakh 29,000 people have recovered There have been more than 7,400 deaths. 

Meanwhile, a study claims virus first appeared in August 2019 contrary to earlier report of December 2019. This is a study by the Harvard Medical School. It is based on the hypothesis that the coronavirus was circulating in the community prior to being identified. Researchers say this hypothesis is backed by the fact that at least 14 of the first identified cases had no direct link to wet markets.

In addition, the virological samples of wildlife at these markets could not be linked to the coronavirus. Now to further prove their claims, the researchers used two methods. First, they looked at high-resolution satellite images taken between 2018 and 2020. These were images of 6 speciality hospital parking lots in Wuhan. The researchers say these images show an increase in traffic outside five of these hospitals between august and December.

They also obtained daily data for symptom-related online searches. They focused on search volumes of two terms --cough and diarrhoea.

The traffic spike in august apparently coincided with a rise in online searches for information regarding these symptoms. Meaning, an inordinately high number of people were searching for these terms. Which leads to the conclusion that they, or someone they knew, was suffering from these things.

China has dismissed this report. It called it ridiculous. The rest of the world is reporting it.

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