Notes on satellite images: When you have the Coronavirus in the autumn of 2019 in the city of Wuhan?

The Coronavirus has changed the world – and in a variety of ways. The consequences of the lock downs and the contact restrictions do not apply to all economic sectors, but also the society as such. In the past weeks, the public life came largely to a standstill: Bars and Restaurants closed, inner cities and otherwise busy commuter lines seemed suddenly empty of people. All of this was on a small scale in the own neighborhood watch, particularly good however, especially from the top: the All.

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Satellite images allow a plan view on the world, they are eye-catching and suitable to illustrate complex issues with simple shots. This is especially evident on satellite images of the hospital “Huoshenshan” in the Chinese city of Wuhan – the city in which the pandemic took to the current knowledge of their origin. In order to create capacity for the high number of Sufferers, has been enlarged to the hospital within a few days. Images of dozens of excavators, the switching ground and the floor straightened, went around the world. Recent satellite pictures show the amazing transformation of the clinic.

The “Wuhan Huoshenshan Hospital” taken from the All The top recording dates back to April 2017, and the bottom is on the 22. February 2020 dated. The current image shows a markedly enlarged clinic trees had to make way for new buildings.

Long ago, science is also interested in images from space. A stir, a study of American researchers, which was published on the Server of Harvard University today. The five-member team of researchers, including three Harvard scientists, has to be evaluated more than 100 satellite images from Wuhan, and comes to a spectacular-sounding result: Apparently, the scientists suspect the novel Coronavirus could be adopted much earlier than previously, namely in the autumn of 2019, in Wuhan, have been circulating. How come the researchers of this Thesis?

The researchers evaluated for the study, recordings of six hospitals in the Chinese metropolis. The pictures were taken in the period of 9. January 2018 to 30. April 2020. As the researchers report, the number of parked cars in this period of time gradually. Starting in August 2019, the number of cars had increased significantly; the highlight is the December 2019, to be achieved. In about the same period, there have been increasingly searches for the keywords “diarrhoea” and “cough” in the Chinese search engine Baidu. Although the researchers acknowledge that the term “cough” year is subject to fluctuations over time – for example, the search queries are piling up in the annual flu season. The interest in the search term “diarrhea”, however, had been only increased towards the end of the year 2019. The causative agent of Sars-CoV-2 can cause both symptoms.

The investigation nourishes the already existing suspicion that the Chinese government might have informed too late about the spread of the Coronavirus. Solid evidence for this theory, there is not yet. 31. December 2019, had been reported to the health authority in Wuhan for the first Time on the accumulation of lung inflammation with an unknown cause. The cases were first brought to a fish market. This was on 1. January 2020 closed and disinfected. On 5. January was the number of officially known cases in the case of 59 – shortly afterwards a further single followed in cases in Thailand and Japan. Now infected according to the US-American John Hopkins University around the world, more than seven million people with the Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2. More than 400,000 people died.

Although the analysis of the researcher appears at first glance to be plausible, it must be interpreted with caution. This has various reasons.

The study therefore provides no evidence that the Coronavirus might have already in the fall of 2019 in Wuhan spread – but circumstantial evidence. Last, there was always doubt as to the official Version, according to which the disease agent could have spread by the end of 2019 on the basis of an animal market.

So researchers were able to show in a in the journal “PNAS” published a study that the origin of the pathogen is not suspected of seeking in the city of Wuhan. The researchers of the Kiel molecular biologist Michael Forster had studied a variety of virus genomes .

“Before we, the human corona virus with the bat and Pangolin-corona virus compared had, it looked like as if the origin of the pandemic quite clearly in Wuhan to search for was” had Forster recently in an interview with the star explains. “The comparison with the virus from animal hosts pointed out, however, that the Transmission of the Virus from an animal to a human, might have taken place.” Question about the Chinese province of Guangdong would be, about 1000 km South of Wuhan. (The Interview you can read here.)

Sources: Harvard Community: “Analysis of hospital traffic and search engine data in Wuhan China” / Science Media Center / Johns Hopkins University / Robert Koch Institute / Coronavirus-the family tree: the mystery of the origin of the pathogen

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