PCR test orders soared where Covid-19 first broke out months before China warned the world of the virus, a cybersecurity company claims.
Sales for polymerase chain reaction testing equipment used to check for coronavirus, reportedly spiked in the Chinese province of Hubei in 2019.
According to Australian-US firm Internet 2.0, the kit which allows scientists to test for infectious diseases from DNA samples, was ordered into the area of Wuhan in the second half of 2019.
What has raised eyebrows with the new research is that the spike in orders came well before Beijing told international authorities of a potential new coronavirus.
The first known cases of the Covid-19 were recorded in the city of Wuhan, with the World Health Organization (WHO) reporting itwas informed on December 31 2019 of pneumonia symptoms spreading from an unknown cause.
A week later Chinese authorities identified what would become known as SARS-CoV-2 and cause Covid-19 which has killed nearly 4.8 million people around the world.
Internet 2.0 concluded in a report that its research shows with “high confidence that the pandemic began much earlier than China informed the WHO about Covid-19.”
The cybersecurity firm, which specialises in digital forensics and intelligence analysis has called for further investigation, Bloomberg reports.
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The report by Internet 2.0 however has been criticised for not having enough evidence to suggest scientists in the Hubei province were testing for Covid-19
PCR tests have grown in popularity over the past several decades and is now widely used in laboratories to test for many other pathogens, a medical expert says.
A spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry has disputed the findings and told Bloomberg News: "Virus traceability is a serious scientific issue that should be addressed by scientists."
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China’s State Council Information Office published a white paper with “a clear timeline and iron-clad facts” of its fight against coronavirus, the spokesperson said.
They added: "China's anti-epidemic campaign is open to the world, the situation is clear, the facts are clear at a glance, and stand the test of time and history."
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