|Article by Cypriot Doctor Cai Weizhou in Cyprus Mail entitled "COVID-19 Origin-Tracing Calls for Objective Scientific Studies"|
On August 27, 2021, Mr. Cai Weizhou, a renowned Cypriot Doctor of Chinese descent, published an article entitled "COVID-19 Origin-Tracing Calls for Objective Scientific Studies" in Cyprus' largest English newspaper Cyprus Mail. The article stresses that the origin-tracing is a rigorous scientific issue, which must be addressed in a scientific attitude with objectiveness, truthfulness, transparency, and be free of any political interference. Only by working together can we control the spread of any virus in a quick and effective manner. The full text is as follows:
Recently, the Covid-19 pandemic has resurged globally despite the launch of massive vaccination programmes worldwide. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, over 200 million infections and 4.3 million deaths have been recorded. Under such circumstances, apart from public concern on how to accelerate vaccination to restore normal life as soon as possible, the studies of origin-tracing have also become a topic of focus.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, scientists around the world have made great efforts to study the form of transmission and pathological mechanism of the virus, in order to find effective treatments. Important progress has also been made in the development and use of vaccines to create herd immunity and control the spread of the virus. For any epidemic, the study of its origin is of equal importance as the research on the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Covid-19 origin-tracing is conducive to the development of global anti-pandemic strategies and more effective responses to any potential outbreaks in the future. The World Health Organization (WHO) released its first report on Covid-19 origin-tracing on March 30, 2021.
The origin-tracing and the search for patient zero of Covid-19 will be a long-term task. It took decades to investigate the origin of Ebola. The lack of distinctive symptoms caused by Covid-19 means more difficulty in tracing its origin. This requires scientists from all over the world to work together in their studies and investigations based on the principle of science and through transparent and objective approaches. The basic method of scientific research is to use data and facts to make logical inferences in search of any potential answers.
In the current investigation and research on the origins of the Covid-19, in addition to the known cases and data since 2020, many cases before 2020 have also gradually surfaced, which are believed to be useful for relevant studies. Let us take the e-cigarette pneumonia occurring in certain areas of the United States in the summer of 2019 for example. According to the US CDC report, 2,807 patients were admitted to hospitals for pneumonia of unknown cause in a short period, and there were death cases. These cases were believed to be caused by use of the e-cigarette. But reports revealed that these patients and Covid-19 patients are very similar in terms of CT presentation and x-ray findings. There may be a need to review and investigate if these cases have any connection with Covid-19.
Recently, the WHO gave instructions to study blood samples collected in Italy and other regions in the summer and autumn of 2019 before the outbreak of the Covid-19, to further verify the Covid-19 antibodies discovered in them. Such studies are important to trace the origin of the virus and control the spread of the pandemic.
Viruses will not disappear from nature. Their coexistence with human beings is the law of nature. The investigation of the origin of the Covid-19 pandemic is significant both in the scientific and historic sense. The origin-tracing is a rigorous scientific issue, which must be addressed in a scientific attitude with objectiveness, truthfulness, transparency, and be free of any political interference. We must keep in mind that when it comes to any pandemic, regardless of a country’s political system, economic status and geographic location, everyone is interconnected – you, me, and people in every country will all be affected by the virus. It is the virus that is the world’s common enemy. Only by working together can we prevent the occurrence of a pandemic, as well as control and stop the spread of the pandemic in a quick and effective manner.
Dr Cai Weizhou is a GP who has been practising medicine in Cyprus for more than 30 years