BEIJING — Chinese researchers have been racing against time to formulate a detailed profile of the virus since the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Here is a summary of the developments:
— A research team said COVID-19 may originate in bats. The genome sequencing of the novel coronavirus is as high as 96 percent identical with a type of coronavirus from bats, the team said, adding that the new coronavirus enters the receptor using the same cells with SARS virus.
— The metagenome sequence of the novel coronavirus strain separated from pangolins was 99 percent identical to that from infected people, indicating pangolins may be an intermediate host of the virus, a study led by South China Agricultural University has found.
— The new virus is transmitted mainly through air droplets, but touching can spread the virus too, according to Chinese health authorities.
— Renowned Chinese respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan warned the public to keep their waste pipes unobstructed as the novel coronavirus may spread through drainage systems.
— The novel coronavirus can be transmitted when someone was exposed to high concentrations of aerosol in a relatively closed environment for a long time, while the probability of aerosol transmission in a normal working and living environment is extremely low, according to Chinese health authorities.
— Chinese researchers have found that COVID-19 patients may have no fever or CT abnormality, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Saturday.
Only 43.8 percent of the studied patients had a fever when they were admitted to hospital, a contrast to 88.7 percent during hospitalization, it revealed.
The study also showed that the virus could be detected in some patients’ gastrointestinal tracts, saliva, and urine, thus it advised that more hygiene protection be taken.