Chinese study claiming Covid originated in India has been withdrawn

NEW DELHI: A study claiming the Indian subcontinent was the location of the earliest human-to-human transmission of novel coronaviruses has been withdrawn from the preprint platform of the medical journal The Lancet, Global Times recently reported .
The Global Times said the study was first published on Nov. 17 on SSRN.com, the preprint platform of the medical journal The Lancet. However, the article was withdrawn.
An employee of the Institute of Neuroscience of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) confirmed to the Global Times that the study had been withdrawn from the platform.
The study was conducted by researchers from the CAS’s Institute of Neuroscience, Shanghai-based Fudan University, and the University of Texas at Houston.
The pre-print study, titled “Early Cryptic Transmission and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in Human Hosts,” suggested that the Indian subcontinent may be where the earliest novel human-to-human transmission of coronavirus occurred , three or four months before the outbreak in Wuhan.
According to the Global Times, it is no surprise to withdraw a study from SSRN.Com. “If the researchers or the research institute found that their studies might be lacking data or not solid or intentional enough to draw a conclusion, they would consider withdrawing their study,” said a Beijing-based public expert Global Times health on condition of anonymity. “said the report in the Global Times.
He said, “The withdrawal of this virus origin study shows that tracking virus origin around the world is a complicated scientific question, which is not an easy task, and is far from reaching a conclusion without international collaboration.”
Since the paper is still a pre-print version that has not yet gone through the peer review process, the withdrawal could mean that the study’s results may need further review, experts say.
“Further evidence points to the virus’ early existence in the world before humans became aware of it, and it points to multiple sources,” he added.
According to the Global Times, a study by the National Cancer Institute of Milan found the novel coronavirus in blood samples taken in October 2019, and research by the University of Barcelona showed the virus was present in wastewater samples in Barcelona in March 2019.
On Monday, the Wall Street Journal also cited a government study that found Covid-19 was likely in the US in mid-December, about a month before the country reported its first case and weeks before China reported its first case.
Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute and professor of Computational Systems Biology at the University College of London, described the paper by Chinese researchers as “gibberish”. “A piece of gibberish nonsense that argues that # SARSCoV2 originated in India and was presented to the Lancet. I can only hope that the peer review process will stamp it out immediately.”

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