There are unconfirmed reports across the internet stating that the coronavirus pandemic broke out in Wuhan, China, months before they reported the 1st case to the world.
According to a report by Daily Mail, a satellite image of an hospital car park, which was taken in October 2019 showed there were more cars at the car park than it used to be on a normal working day.
A team of researchers from Harvard and Boston Universities are poring over 111 images of medical facilities in the place where the coronavirus pandemic began — and those pictures appear to reveal a trend.
Namely that, from August last year, something was making those medical facilities much busier than normal.
This exercise in ‘digital epidemiology’ was published this week, adding to suspicions that the virus was making people ill far earlier than previously thought.
Officially, China first reported a cluster of cases on New Year’s Eve. It later told the World Health Organisation that the earliest symptoms for those patients dated back to December 8.
The disease began to spread overseas in mid-January, according to news reports, with cases recorded in the U.S. on the 21st, France on the 24th and Italy on the 31st.
That was also the day two Chinese nationals tested positive in York, making them the first confirmed cases in the UK (though they caught Covid-19 overseas). The first uniquely British case was identified in scout leader Steve Walsh, from Brighton, on February 6. The first confirmed case of transmission in the UK was then registered in Surrey on February 28.
Yet there are growing claims — not limited to the satellite study — that the coronavirus may have been in circulation far earlier. And scientists in other countries are turning up growing evidence that Covid-19 appeared on their shores earlier than thought.