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Did Covid-19 originate in Wuhan? Scientific evidence proves this may not be true

7 July 2020 11:27 AM

Oxford professor, Tom Jefferson says studies report the presence of the virus in sewage in Spain as early as March 2019.

Based on the findings from a number of cities around the world, the coronavirus behind the Covid-19 pandemic may have lain dormant across the world and emerged when environmental conditions were right for it to thrive - rather than starting in China, an Oxford University expert believes.

Professor Tom Jefferson, of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford, talks to Refilwe Moloto about the likelihood that Covid-19 did not originate in China.

We are synthesizing available evidence.

Professor Tom Jefferson - Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford

Jefferson says they are looking at studies that have already been done, which are increasing exponentially.

The studies they are looking at are environmental studies that show possible triggers of the pandemic like meteorological or weather conditions.

They are also looking at another series of studies that report the presence of the virus in sewage and wastewater around the world.

RELATED: How sewage can help target Covid-19 hotspots

They began with European and then Brazilian studies working backwards to trace the first appearance of the fragments of the virus in wastewater.

The earliest we've got is March 2019 in the Spanish city of Barcelona.

Professor Tom Jefferson - Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford

This despite the common narrative that the virus first began in Wuhan, China towards the end of last year.

Jefferson emphasises that any single study such as the Barcelona example needs to be repeated.

But we seem to have an increasing number of studies finding earlier and earlier fragments.

Professor Tom Jefferson - Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford

It is also important to note that these bits and pieces of the virus found in the sewage is not an active virus and not contagious.

It looks as if the inhabitants of the Spanish city of Barcelona were excreting the virus some considerable number of months before it was identified in Wuhan.

Professor Tom Jefferson - Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford

This does not tell us where the virus came from and it is possible that it has been around for a very long time. It's possible, but we just don't know.

Professor Tom Jefferson - Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at the University of Oxford

There does seem to be a trend looking backwards at samples of wastewater tracing of frozen samples showing traces of pieces of Covid-19 in a number of areas before the date given in Wuhan.

Listen to the interview below:


7 July 2020 11:27 AM

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