Virologists have discovered the COVID-19 virus in a sample of waste water collected in Barcelona, Spain from March 2019.
This would indicate that the virus has exited for far longer than December 31, when the Chinese government first notified the World Health Organization that an unknown pneumonia was making its way through the city of Wuhan, China.
The University of Barcelona team had been testing water samples since Mid-April, when they decided that they would back-test old samples of waste water.
The virus was found in Barcelona waste water from January 15, 2020, over a month before the first case of COVID was reported in the European country.
Research leader Albert Bosch said that the levels of the virus were "low, but were positive."
China criticized for dishonesty
China’s track record when it comes to pandemics is not a good one. In November of 2002, an outbreak of the now well-known SARS virus—which is similar in nature to the new coronavirus—began in China’s Guangdong province, with a population in 133 million. The People’s Republic of China did not notify the WHO until February 10, 2003, reporting that 305 cases including 105 health-care workers, and five deaths.
A similar pattern has allegedly played out with the new coronavirus.
According to The Guardian, "the first case of someone suffering from Covid-19 can be traced back to 17 November, according to media reports on unpublished Chinese government data."
"The report, in the South China Morning Post, said Chinese authorities had identified at least 266 people who contracted the virus last year and who came under medical surveillance, and the earliest case was 17 November–weeks before authorities announced the emergence of the new virus."