As the worldwide number of Coronavirus cases have crossed the 7 million-mark with over 4 lakh people killed by the deadly contagion. In India, the Covid-19 tally has jumped to 266,598 – fifth highest in the world, which is a worrying factor in itself. However, one might be wondering from where did this deadly virus enter into our country, to crack this and do a deep research pertaining to this topic, a group of experts at the IISC have found that Covid-19 found its way to India via frequently visited countries in Europe, South Asia, Middle East and Oceania.
“There is a close connection between the source of the virus and the countries that are most traveled by Indians,” the study stated.
This detailed study and its information was listed in ‘the scientific journal Current Science’ published by the IISC. The analysis revealed that most Indian SARS-CoV-2 viruses (129 out of 137) show more similarity to that of specific countries.
The suspects and the patients of our country were basically divided into 2 groups/clusters, the results and the symptoms shown by the suspects/patients from both the clusters showed similarity to the patients from different parts of Europe and a few number of Middle East/ South Asian countries.
The findings indicated that majority of Indian SARS-CoV-2 viruses have originated from Europe, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania regions. “A large majority of Indian viral isolates (n = 129), which were collected during March/April 2020, show more similarity with samples from Europe, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania regions,” the experts noted. The remaining Indian isolates (n = 8) have grouped with other clusters which contained most samples from China and East Asia.
Thus, the study concluded the probable source of origin of Indian SARS-CoV-2 viruses to be in countries from Europe and Oceania regions besides the Middle East and South Asian regions.
In another study, experts at the Harvard Medical School believe that coronavirus might have been spreading in China as early as August 2019, news agency Reuters reported.
The research used satellite imagery of hospital parking lots in Wuhan – where the disease was first identified in late 2019 – and data for symptom-related queries around “cough” and “diarrhea” on various search engines. “In August, we identify a unique increase in searches for diarrhea which was neither seen in previous flu seasons or mirrored in the cough search data,” the research stated.