COVID virus could have been circulating elsewhere before Wuhan discovery – Chinese expert

FILE PHOTO: Liang Wannian of China’s National Health Commision attends a news conference of the World Health Organisation (WHO) – China Joint Mission on Covid-19 – about its investigation of the coronavirus outbreak in Beijing, China, February 24, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

WUHAN, China (Reuters) – The virus that causes COVID-19 could have been circulating in other regions before it was identified in the central Chinese city of Wuhan at the end of 2019, a top expert at China’s health authority said on Tuesday.

Liang Wannian, an expert with China’s Health Commission, also told a press briefing at the end of a nearly one-month visit to Wuhan by a World Health Organization-led team that there had been no substantial spread of the virus in the city before the late 2019 outbreak.

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