China claims it may not have originated Covid-19 as virus spreads to at least 50 countries

China reported a sharp increase in number of confirmed Covit-19 infections. (Photo courtesy: FT)

(, Feb28’20) – As the number of Covid-19 infections continued to drop in its known country of origin, with South Korea alone reporting more infections than in China on Feb 26, Mainland respiratory expert Zhong Nanshan has suggested that the coronavirus may not have originated in China at all, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Feb 28. Although the first case was reported in Wuhan, capital of Hubei province, Zhong has claimed at a press conference in Guangzhou that its source may not have come from the country. He has not offered any explanation why he felt that way.

Zhong has expressed confidence that the Covid-19 epidemic will be contained in China by the end of April but said he could not predict its development in other countries and regions as the number of new cases being reported had now surpassed the mainland’s.

By Feb 27 night, South Korea had 505 new cases, taking the total to 1,766, with 13 deaths.

Italy had 400 cases and 12 deaths, the largest outbreak outside Asia, reported Feb 28.

Japan had 186 confirmed cases, excluding non-Japanese on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, and seven people had died.

Iran added 106 new cases and seven more deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 245 cases and 26 deaths, one of the new cases in Iran was the chairman of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign affairs committee, Mojtaba Zolnour.

Nigeria’s first case was recorded in Lagos, the country’s commercial hub and most populous city, reported Xinhua Feb 28, citing the Lagos state government. He was reported to be an Italian national who entered Nigeria on Feb 25 from Milan for a brief business visit, and who fell ill on the following day.

The report said at least 50 countries had confirmed cases by Feb 27 night.

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Mainland China had 327 new confirmed cases on Feb 27, the country’s National Health Commission was cited as saying Feb 28, down from 433 cases a day earlier and the lowest since Jan 23, bringing the total to 78,824.

The central Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak, accounted for 318 of the new confirmed cases, down from 409 a day earlier and the lowest since Jan 24.

The death toll in mainland China on Feb 27 was 44, including 41 in Hubei, taking the total to 2,788.

Another 452 new suspected cases were reported Feb 27, with the total being 2,308.

The number of those discharged from hospital after recovering was reported to total 36,117. The daily number of newly cured and discharged novel coronavirus patients on the Chinese mainland was stated to have surpassed that of new infections for the tenth consecutive day.

A total of 65,225 others were stated to be still under medical observation.


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