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China to test thousands of Wuhan blood samples in COVID-19 probe

October 13, 2021 12:48 pm
[Source: CNN]

China is preparing to test tens of thousands of blood bank samples from the city of Wuhan as part of a probe into the origins of COVID-19, according to a Chinese official.

The move comes amid increasing calls for transparency over the emergence of the virus.

The store of up to 200,000 samples, including those from the closing months of 2019 were pinpointed in February this year by the World Health Organization’s panel of investigators as a possible source of key information that could help determine when and where the virus first crossed into humans.

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The samples are kept in the Wuhan Blood Center and are thought to span 2019, providing real-time tissue samples from a wide swathe of the population in the Chinese city where SARS-CoV-2 is thought to have first infected humans.

The blood bank samples have been retained for two years, Chinese officials have said, in case they are needed as evidence in any lawsuits related to the blood donations they are from.

That two-year waiting period will soon expire for the key months of October and November 2019, when most experts think the virus could first have infected humans.

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