Wuhan’s Huanan seafood market

The Wuhan seafood market, which is at the centre of the pneumonia outbreak, has been closed.
A new study by Chinese researchers indicates the novel coronavirus may have begun human-to-human transmission in late November from a place other than the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.

The study published on ChinaXiv, a Chinese open repository for scientific researchers, reveals the new coronavirus was introduced to the seafood market from another location, and then spread rapidly from market to market. The findings were the result of analyses of genome-wide data, sources of infection and the route of spread of 93 samples of the novel coronavirus collected from 12 countries across four continents.

The study believes that patient zero transmitted the virus to workers or sellers at the Huanan seafood market. The crowded market facilitated the further transmission of the virus to buyers, which caused a wider spread in early December 2019.

Was this coronavirus PATIENT ZERO? Scientist describes gruesome bat attack at Chinese lab

CORONAVIRUS 'patient zero' may have been a worker from a high security pathogen laboratory working with coronavirus infected bats, Chinese researchers have claimed.

A research paper released by biologists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao points to a bloody incident at the Wuhan Centre for Disease control laboratory, WCDC, less than one mile from the disease epicentre at Wuhan fish market. Entitled 'The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus' the paper said: "A researcher described that he was once attacked by bats and the blood of a bat shot on his skin. He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14 days.
"In another accident, he quarantined himself again because bats urinated on him."

The scientists from the prestigious South China University of Technology in Guangzhou claimed the Wuhan WCDC "hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes", including 605 bats captured in nearby provinces.
The paper states: "The Chinese horseshoe bats were natural reservoirs for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, SARS-CoV, which caused the SARS outbreak in 2003."
According to The Beijing News a research fellow at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, called Shi Zhengli, said on Saturday evening: "I can promise that not a single person was infected at our institute, including graduate students.

"We have zero infection cases."

Another scientist from the institute, Chen Quanjiao, added, "The Wuhan Institute of Virology has no infections, and the patient zero did not come from us."

According to the researchers, the new coronavirus experienced two sudden population expansions, including one on January 6, 2020, which was related to the Chinese New Year's Day holiday.

An earlier expansion occurred on December 8, implying human-to-human transmission may have started in early December or late November, and then accelerated when it reached the Huanan seafood market.

On January 6, the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a second-level emergency response, which the researchers said served as a warning against mass public activity and travel.

If the warnings had received wider public attention, the number of cases spreading nationally and globally in mid-to-late January would have been lower, said the researchers.

Patients from Australia, France, Japan and the US - countries with wider samples - have had at least two sources of infection, and the US in particular has reported five sources, the study said.

However, based upon limited samples in other countries, the source of most infections is deemed to be the same. In addition to their contact history with Wuhan, some may have been infected in South China's Guangdong Province and Singapore.