Chinese authorities have claimed that coronavirus may have arrived via imported frozen food from countries including Australia.
Recall that Coronavirus cases were first reported in the Chinese city in December last year before the disease spread rapidly around the world.
Facing international criticism over its handling of the initial outbreak, China has pushed back, saying that the virus may have started overseas and arrived on frozen food packaging.
According to an article in the Global Times, the country argued that Western countries had attempted to “shift the narrative from their own shortcomings” by accusing Wuhan of being “where the coronavirus began”.
The publication wrote;
“As the mounting sporadic outbreaks in China were found to be related to imported cold-chain products, with other parts of the world, including Europe and the American continent, reportedly discovering signs of the coronavirus earlier than Wuhan, it begs a new hypothesis – did the early outbreak in Wuhan originate from imported frozen food?”
The Global Times article admits that there is as yet no evidence, but that the theory “cannot be ruled out”.
Its reporters spoke to a number of former merchants from the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, with one claiming “actually the frozen products in China are clean, but I don’t know about those from abroad”.
The report comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the virus, sparking political and economic tension between Australia and China.