Expert: Beijing outbreak might have occurred one month earlier

The current COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing might have occurred one month earlier than thought, Gao Fu, director of China's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a meeting in Shanghai on Tuesday.

The first case of the outbreak was diagnosed on June 11. China's CDC estimates that the earliest infection from this recent cluster would have occurred either in late May or early June. Wu Zunyou, chief epidemiologist at China's CDC, said in an interview with CCTV on Monday.

"(Novel coronavirus) could have lurked in some dark, humid, and polluted environment… and suddenly exposed to people in a period of time," Gao said. "Thus, patients probably didn't appear in early June or late May, it could be one month early."

Gao warned that although viruses can't multiply outside the living body, there are still risks since they can lurk in a dark and damp environment.

(Cover image via VCG)