A preliminary World Health Organization report on the origin of the novel coronavirus will recommend closer contact tracing of the first known COVID-19 patient in Wuhan, China, as well as the supply chain of nearly a dozen traders in the Huanan seafood market believed to have played a role in the early spread. the virus at the end of 2019. Independent scientists told CNN that the recommended research should have been done months ago by Chinese scientists studying the virus’s origins. They said they considered it “surprising” and “implausible” that Chinese scientists had not yet completed the work. citing researchers familiar with the draft WHO report, the commission’s recommendations will pursue, among other things, two key areas of investigation.

First, we are talking about a request for additional work on the contact history of a patient from Wuhan on December 8, 2019 – the first case of COVID-19 confirmed by Chinese scientists and a WHO team. The patient has not been publicly identified, but according to WHO researchers, this is an office worker of about forty years old, without any exotic travel or contacts, who lived with his wife and child. Peter Dassak, a member of the 17-member WHO team and president of the EcoHealth Alliance, said an investigation found the parents of the first known patient likely visited a wildlife market in Wuhan. The patient met with the WHO team, Daszak said, and at the end of the meeting added that his parents had visited “a local food market in Wuhan, not the Huanan market.

Daszak said the WHO expert group did not receive detailed information about the market during their visit and may have been selling animals or food that could be infected with the new coronavirus. Then he said at the end of the interview and it was all translated, and the translator, in particular, said My parents visited an open market in the local community, Peter Dasszak said about the meeting. Now, to use the term ‘open market’, especially concerning this political constraint that we were in, it tells me something very important: that other markets in Wuhan are not [only] the Huanan market, but other markets as well. – were selling wildlife products, ”says Daszak.

In China, the open market is a term used to describe a place where a wide variety of fresh products, including live animals, are sold. Daszak said Chinese scientists, studying the case as part of the government’s response, assured the WHO team that the patient’s parents tested negative for the disease, but the Chinese probably did not trace parental contact in this market. This patient had no known association with the Huanan seafood market, which Dassak believes was associated with the early spread of the virus and “led a typical urban life. He was not involved in high-traffic sports. His main hobby was surfing the Internet.

WHO mission chief Peter Ben Embarek declined to comment on details of any further contact tracing or testing that is needed. He told me Further research is needed. Other scientists expressed surprise and even disbelief that further investigations of both the first patient’s contact history and the supply chain to the Huanan market that WHO was looking for appeared to have not yet been carried out by China. Professor Maureen Miller, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Columbia University, said,  It is unlikely this study was not done. This is unrealistic considering that world-class scientists work there.

Miller said infection of the patient on December 8 – without any direct contact with “open markets or exotic travel – showed that there was already community transmission in December. In the short and long term, it is harmful to China to try to hide the fact that this virus originated in China and has been exported around the world, she said. Professor Yangzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, finds it surprising that China “has not invested in research on two such important keys. He added that the country recently mobilized the entire city of Beijing to find the source of the COVID-19 outbreak.

They have top-notch scientists who are far more aware of the importance of this information than others, he said. Professor Yangzhong Huang said the WHO recommendations showed that they reveal some interesting information to track the origin of the virus. Meanwhile, as reported by according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chuning, an independent account of the origins of the coronavirus “does not mean subjection to a Western approach to China based on the presumption of guilt.” She added, “China has conducted a very thorough, professional, evidence-based study with WHO experts,” and said the WHO Commission is pleased with the cooperation from China. Hua continues to push for studies of the virus outside of China a claim for which there is little evidence.

In its preliminary report which is due to be released soon, the WHO commission will also recommend an immediate investigation of the supply chain to the Huanan seafood market, according to researchers familiar with the draft report. Peter Dasszak said Chinese scientists provided the WHO team with a list of farms in the southern provinces of Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong that supplied the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan with wildlife products. There will be recommendations that will include visiting these farms, testing farmers, interviewing and testing relatives, and finding out if there is any evidence that there were outbreaks before Wuhan.

Daszak described this recommendation as a priority which there is a consensus between the mission of WHO experts and the Chinese scientists working with them. Daszak said Chinese scientists visited wildlife farms in and around central Hubei province and some upstream suppliers, but not the southern farms, which would be “of most interest” to him and the WHO team.

Testing the supply chain would allow scientists to see which animals or humans might have passed the virus among themselves before it infected humans in Wuhan. The spillover effect probably happened a little earlier, in November or maybe even in October, Dasszak said, referring to the moment when the virus passes from one species to another. There was no one to check the animals, Dassak said. The farms are now closed, Daszak added that the Chinese tracing team investigating the origins of the outbreak may have been thwarted by the isolation that swept China in early 2020.

Farms have likely become a direct route for this virus Daszak said. We now know that the Huanan market was receiving stocks of wild animals raised on farms in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Guangdong provinces. We have evidence and data. We need to find out what other products these farms were selling, he added. Did they sell animals that could be infected with the SARS coronavirus, including SARS-CoV-2? Animals, including rabbits, ferrets, badgers, civets? You can do this by interviewing farmers. They have nothing to lose. They will close their businesses and go on with their lives, and there was nothing illegal in what they did, says Dasszak.

According to Peter Daszak, the southern Chinese province of Yunnan is of particular interest because it was here that one of the closest genetic relatives of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, known as RaTG13, was discovered in bats. An urgent task for zoologists is to determine if and how the RaTG13 virus could eventually mutate and become SARS-CoV-2. The southern provinces of China are home to many species that are also susceptible to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These animals from southern farms may have ended up in the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, Daszak said. According to him, Chinese scientists took samples from the carcasses of dead fish and other aquatic animals from the Huanan market in January 2020, but not from living species. Some of the animals in the market were dead and frozen, he said.

There were rabbits in that batch of things from the freezers Dassak said. They were negative he said but added that only a few of them were tested. We don’t know what else went into this market Daszak said the results of this study were not published by Chinese scientists but were presented only to a group of WHO experts. He said the virus’s route to market from southern farms is a plausible theory for its origins. We don’t have clear conclusive evidence but it’s much more likely than any other route we’ve considered, he said.