Citing CNN, the Chinese official said China was preparing to test tens of thousands of samples from blood banks in Wuhan to investigate the origin of Covid-19.
According to the North American chain, the measure follows the growing desire to make the country clearer and more transparent in the wake of the virus.
The location of the 200,000 samples was identified in February this year by a team of researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO) as a possible source of important information to determine when and where the virus was first transmitted to humans.
Samples at the Wuhan Blood Center are expected to cover 2019, and SARS-CoV-2 is likely to provide real-time tissue samples from a large part of the population in the Chinese city where it first infected humans.
Blood samples were kept for two years, according to Chinese authorities, as needed in any case involving blood donation.
This two-year waiting period will soon end in the main months of October and November 2019, when most experts think the virus may have infected humans for the first time.
An official from China’s National Health Commission told CNN that preparations for the test were ongoing and that the project would move forward once it reached the two-year limit.
Maureen Miller, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, said the samples “certainly contain vital clues” about the origin of the pandemic.
A CNN official said that “no one will believe China’s results without at least qualified observers confirming the truth of the process.”