WHO: Report suggests COVID-19 may have emerged in France last December | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

WHO: Report suggests COVID-19 may have emerged in France last December

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday that a report suggesting the coronavirus (COVID-19) had emerged in December in France, sooner than previously thought, was “not surprising”, and urged countries to investigate any other early suspicious cases.

The disease was first reported by Chinese authorities to the WHO on December 31 and was not previously believed to have spread to Europe until January, said Reuters. “This gives a whole new picture on everything,” WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a UN briefing in Geneva, referring to the French report.

“The findings help to better understand the potential virus circulation of COVID-19,” he added, saying other earlier cases could emerge after retesting samples. A French hospital which retested old samples from pneumonia patients discovered that it treated a man who had COVID-19 as early as December 27, nearly a month before the French government confirmed its first cases.