As the Chinese Coronavirus pandemic rages on across the nation, India is facing the full brunt of a deadly second wave with 3,86,693 cases on Tuesday alone. For the past 9 days or so, the cases have been crossing the 3 lakh mark with over 3,000 deaths. With several countries in the world sending in help to India after India helped these countries in their time of need, Chinese state media is now claiming that they have detected some cases of mutant strains of COVID-19 found in Indian in China.
Chinese state media, Globals Times, has now reported that the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control has claimed that COVID-19 mutant strains found in India have been found in some cities of China now.
According to Global Times, 11 Chinese crew members on a cargo ship that had docked in China recently have tested positive for COVID-19. China has termed these cases as ‘cases imported from India’. Reportedly, the 10 cases that tested positive and the 1 asymptomatic case have been sent to the hospitals while 10 others remain under observation on the Cargo shit itself.
While China is supposedly taking strict measures to ensure that “imported” infections can be stopped, the chief epidemiologist has reminded the people of the country that precautions are to be taken in these tough times and that implementing epidemic control measures is the key.
Global Times reports, “The ship, Huayang Chaoyang, is registered in China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Since 2021, the cargo ship has docked at ports including Chittagong in Bangladesh, Kakinada in India, Singapore, and Xiamen in China. It is now docked at a shipyard in Zhoushan awaiting repairs”.
It is pertinent to mention that China has implemented new epidemic control policy at its ports that says that ships that have passed through ports in India within three months are not allowed to enter the port, while those which have left Indian ports for more than three months will be allowed to enter with all their crew members returning negative for COVID-19.
How China had blamed India as the origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus (COVID-19) only a few months ago
In November 2020, China had hilariously blamed India for being the ‘origin’ of the deadly Wuhan Coronavirus. In a desperate attempt to shift focus, Chinese ‘researchers’ from the Chinese Academy of Sciences had claimed that the pandemic originated in India in the summer of 2019.
They had alleged that the disease transmitted from animals to humans through contaminated water and made its way to Wuhan. The Chinese researchers allegedly used ‘phylogenetic analysis (a study of virus mutation)’ to ascertain the origin of the disease. They argued that the virus could be traced by finding samples with the least mutations. They estimated the time taken for mutation, compared it to samples from India and assumed that the virus originated between July -August 2019. The Chinese researchers blamed the ‘poor’ healthcare system in India and a large youth population for ensuring the spread of the virus, without being detected. They also claimed that the virus spread possibly to Europe before coming to China.
“From May to June 2019, the second-longest recorded heatwave had rampaged in northern-central India and Pakistan, which created a serious water crisis in this region. The water shortage made wild animals such as monkeys engage in the deadly fight over water among each other and would have surely increased the chance of human-wild animal interactions. We speculated that the [animal to human] transmission of SARS-CoV-2 might be associated with this unusual heatwave…In this regard, the COVID-19 pandemic is inevitable and the Wuhan epidemic is only a part of it,” they had claimed. Earlier, the Chinese regime has tried to pin the blame of the pandemic on countries like the USA and Italy.
Chinese research calling India the origin of Coronavirus flawed and biased, reiterates experts
However, experts such as David Robertson from Glasgow University have rubbished these claims as ‘flawed’ and something which did not add to the understanding of the Coronavirus. He emphasised, “The author’s approach of identifying the “least mutated” virus sequences is… inherently biased. The authors have also ignored the extensive epidemiological data available that shows clear emergence in China and that the virus spread from there. This paper adds nothing to our understanding of SARS-CoV-2.” Expert Marc Suchard from the University of California stated, “Picking the viral sequence that appears to have the least number of differences to the others in an arbitrary collection is unlikely to yield the progenitor”.