New Delhi [India], October 18 (ANI): Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Sunday refuted the claim made by China that there was a simultaneous outbreak of coronavirus across the world, citing lack of "clinching" evidence to support the argument.
Answering a question during his "Sunday Samvaad" programme, he said, "China has claimed that there was a simultaneous outbreak of coronavirus across the world. However, to validate that there were multiple focal points around the world, it requires uniform and timely reporting of the confirmed and diagnosed cases from various countries for the very same time."
He said that there is no substantial evidence yet to validate China's claim.
"I would like to make it clear that no such clinching evidence is yet available regarding this. Therefore, the reported outbreak of COVID-19 from Wuhan in China has been recognised as the first report worldwide," he said as he answered many inquisitive social media interactors on the sixth episode of Sunday Samvaad.
Responding to another question on the market being flooded with oximeters made in China, Dr Harsh Vardhan observed that "consumers should look for FDA/CE approved products with ISO/ IEC specifications while purchasing a pulse oximeter from the market or from the online retailers." However, he made it clear that a dip in oxygen saturation level is not a COVID-19 symptom, as it may happen due to other underlying medical conditions as well.
On December 31 last year, WHO's country office in China had picked up a media statement by the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission from their website on cases of 'viral pneumonia' in Wuhan.
On January 9, WHO reported that Chinese authorities have determined that the outbreak is caused by a novel coronavirus. Later on February 11, the organisation said that the disease caused by the novel coronavirus would be named COVID-19.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are 39,681,253 cases of infection in the world and 1,109,992 lives have been lost. (ANI)