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The COVID-19 Is Spreading Globally But Neither "Originated from China" Nor "Made in China"

(From Chinese Embassy in South Africa)

2020/03/08

The source of infection of the virus remains unknown. Now the COVID-19 is spreading rapidly around the world.In the face of such a severe challenge to mankind, scientists around the world are trying their best to research on the source and pathogenses of the virus, and develop vaccines and drugs. However, scientists around the world, including those in the United States and some other developed countries have not made a clear-cut conclusion that is universally acknowledged by the international community on the source and pathogenses of the virus and its mutation risk.

There have been the large-scale outbreak of COVID-19 in Wuhan ,China since the end of last year. We have noticed that some people in the West with hidden agenda accused China of being the "origin of novel coronavirus" or "made in China", and some even alleged that it was "caused by the leakage of the Chinese biological laboratory".

We have also noticed that some people in China have also spread Western media reports saying that "it was caused by the leakage of the US biological laboratory", while others claim that "this is a biological war launched by the United States against China".There are similar reports in South Africa's local newspapers and online media recently. So far, studies by scientists from countries like the United States, Europe and Japan show that the source of novel coronavirus is still inconclusive.On January 26, the Science Magazine published an article entitled "Wuhan Seafood Market may not be the source of the novel coronavirus spreading globally" (by columnist Jon Cohen, citing Daniel Lucey, an infectious disease expert at Georgetown University in the United States). The Chinese government and the WHO said that the first patient with symptoms of COVID-19 was found on December 8, 2019. If that is true, then the first human infection of the COVID-19 should have happened before November 2019, which means that the virus was originated from elsewhere and then spread to Wuhan Seafood Market.

On February 28, British newspaper the Guardian published an article entitled "Coronavirus may have been in Italy for weeks before it was detected", saying that the coronavirus strain isolated from the Italian patient had genetic differences from the original virus strain isolated in China and the virus strain of two Chinese tourists who were sick in Rome, and that transmission of the virus is not so recent in Italy. (Quoted from Massimo Galli, an Italian virology expert). The novel coronavirus may have been spreading in Italy two or three weeks before the suspension of flights between Italy and China at the end of January. The US CDC recently confirmed an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19 in California in a person who reportedly did not have relevant travel history or exposure to another known patient with COVID-19. Similar cases can also be found in Iran and Italy. Japan's Asahi Shimbun, a popular TV reported that there may be some confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the large number of influenza patients in the United State.

Recently, based on the results of global scientists, the WHO stressed that the source of the novel coronavirus is still uncertain and stigmatization should be avoided. Zhong Nanshan, the most authoritative expert in China's fight against SARS, has made it clear that although the epidemic first broke out in China, it did not necessarily mean that the virus is originated from China, let alone "made in China".

We appreciate the scientific and objective statement made by the South African Department of Health and NICD, which told the public that the novel coronavirus is a new virus, not targeting specific racial or ethnic groups. The statement also says it is right and wise for the public to not to be affected by stereotype, or discriminate against specific groups of people.

It is so clear that the international community and WHO have not found out the source, pathogenses and mutation risk of the novel coronavirus. China and the Chinese people are also the victims of coronavirus. Claiming that the virus is"made in China" or "discriminating against the Chinese people" are obviously groundless and unacceptable.What we need is to wait patiently for the findings of the world's scientists, instead of buying the rumors of those irresponsible people.

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