Wednesday, March 18, 2020

SCMP: "Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17"

From the South China Morning Post, March 13:
  • Government records suggest first person infected with new disease may have been a Hubei resident aged 55, but ‘patient zero’ has yet to be confirmed
  • Documents seen by the Post could help scientists track the spread of the disease and perhaps determine its source
The first case of someone in China suffering from  Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can be traced back to November 17, according to government data seen by the South China Morning Post.
Chinese authorities have so far identified at least 266 people who were infected last year, all of whom came under medical surveillance at some point.
Some of the cases were likely backdated after health authorities had tested specimens taken from suspected patients.
Interviews with whistle-blowers from the medical community suggest Chinese doctors only realised they were dealing with a new disease in late December.

Scientists have been trying to map the pattern of the early transmission of Covid-19 since an epidemic was reported in the central China city of Wuhan in January, two months before the outbreak became a global health crisis.

Understanding how the disease spread and determining how undetected and undocumented cases contributed to its transmission will greatly improve their understanding of the size of that threat.
According to the government data seen by the Post, a 55 year-old from Hubei province could have been the first person to have contracted Covid-19 on November 17....

See also:
"Timeline: The early days of China's coronavirus outbreak and cover-up

"In Depth: How Early Signs of a SARS-Like Virus Were Spotted, Spread, and Throttled"