BEIJING – Chinese authorities have refused to provide WHO investigators with preliminary and personal data on early Covid-19 cases that could help them determine how and when Coronavirus It first began spreading in China, according to WHO investigators who described hot exchanges due to lack of detail.
Chinese authorities have refused requests to provide such data on the 174 cases of Covid-19 identified since the initial stage of the outbreak. In Wuhan, China, in December 2019. The investigators are part of the WHO team that this week completed a month-long mission in China aimed at identifying the origins of the pandemic.
Members of the WHO team said that Chinese officials and scientists provided their comprehensive summaries and analysis of their case data. They also provided aggregate data and analyzes on retrospective searches through medical records in the months leading up to the Wuhan outbreak, saying they had not found evidence of the virus.
Team members said that the WHO team was not allowed to see the primary primary data for those retrospective studies, which could allow them to conduct their own analysis on the extent and spread of the virus in China. Team members said that member states typically provide such data – anonymous, but fragmented so that investigators can see all other details relevant to each case – as part of WHO investigations.
“They showed us some examples, but this is not the same for all of them, which is a standard epidemiological investigation,” said Dominic Dwyer, an Australian microbiologist on the WHO team. “So, you know, the interpretation of that data becomes more limited from our point of view, although the other side might view it as very good.”