China publishes Beijing sars coronavirus genome data, officials suggest a European strain

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China has published data from sequencing of the genome of the coronavirus responsible for a recent epidemic in Beijing, with officials saying Friday it has identified a European strain based on preliminary studies.China, which has been under pressure to make the data public, and sooner rather than later that COVID-19 cases mounting in the country’s capital, said that he also presented data from the World Health Organization.

The US administration has blamed the Chinese government for not handling the first outbreak in the centre of the China properly and too slow to contain the epidemic, leading to fixation of cases and deaths in the united States.

China rejected this accusation, saying that he has not lost time in the dissemination of information about the epidemic, including the sequence of the genome of the first outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan.

In the last Beijing epidemic, the WHO said on Sunday that he had been informed by the Chinese of the ongoing investigations into the source of the cluster and the extent of the infection. He asked that the genetic sequences to be released as soon as possible.

The sequencing of the genome was published Thursday evening, and has also been shared with the WHO and the Global Influenza Initiative Data (GISAID), said that the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Virus genome sequencing is a vital element and the rapid development of the tool in the diagnosis of the disease COVID-19, and in understanding the spread and control of the new coronavirus.

Details published on China’s National Microbiology Data Center website revealed the Beijing genome data was based on three samples – two humans and a environment collected on 11 June.

It was the same day as the Chinese capital reported its first new local COVID-19 infection in the month. In the eight days since then, Beijing has reported a total of 183 cases, linked to the sprawling wholesale food, the central Xinfadi in the city in the south-west.

“According to the first genomic and epidemiological evidence, the results of the study, the virus of eastern Europe, but it is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe,” CDC official Zhang Yong was quoted as saying in an article published Friday by the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, on its web site.

“It is older than the virus currently spreading in Europe.”

NOT BEIJING

Wu Zunyou, the CDC’s chief of epidemiology experts, told state media this week, the Beijing strain was similar for Europe, although not necessarily directly transferred from European countries. Wu did not elaborate on the comments made before the genome of the publication of the data.

The strains found in the united States and Russia were for the most part of Europe, he added.

The first cluster of novel coronavirus infections has been attributed to the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan, in December. Since then, it has infected nearly 8.5 million people in the world.

On the origins of the strain that hit Beijing, Wu said that it did not originate in the Chinese capital city.

“There must be a few people or goods outside of the city that brought in the (Xinfadi) in the market,” Wu said in a state tv interview broadcast Friday.

“It is difficult to know who, or what kind of goods, had introduced the virus in Beijing.”

Wholesalers and retail shops in Beijing, have stepped up the testing on the products, including meat and seafood.

With the closure of Xinfadi, Beijing’s biggest food market, some residents have taken to the storage even if the authorities have promised an adequate supply.

Reporting by Ryan Woo, Roxanne Liu, Lusha Zhang, Se Young Lee and Guijuan That; Editing by Himani Sarkar, Jane Wardell and Michael Perry

Our Principles:Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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