Officials claim the coronaviruses that caused the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Beijing originated from Europe.
This was discovered using newly released genetic sequences.
On Friday, Zhang Yong, an assistant director within China’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wrote in an article published by the country’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.
“According to preliminary genetic sequencing research results, the virus is from Europe, but is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe,” he said.
He added that, “It’s older than the virus currently spreading in Europe.”
As a result of the criticism China got as a result of how it handled the initial emergence of COVID-19 in the central city of Wuhan late last year, China has been under pressure to make data on the new outbreak.
The country said it has also submitted its latest results to the World Health Organisation (WHO).