Why DID so many athletes fall sick in Wuhan in October? More competitors reveal they were ill at the World Military Games months before China admitted coronavirus could be passed between humans
- More athletes revealed they got sick in Wuhan during the Military World Games
- They happened in October two months before the first confirmed case in China
- German volleyball player Jacqueline Bock is the most recent athlete to speak out
- Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
More athletes have revealed they fell ill at a sports event in Wuhan in October – adding to fears the coronavirus was widespread months before China admitted it could be passed between humans.
Almost 10,000 competitors from more than 100 countries – but not Britain – attended the nine-day World Military Games.
Jacqueline Bock, part of the German volleyball team, told The Mail on Sunday how she and her colleagues contracted Covid-19 at the event in the city.
‘After a few days, some athletes from my team got ill,’ she said. I got sick in the last two days.’
Miss Bock’s father also became ill a few weeks after her return.
‘I have never felt so sick,’ she said. ‘Either it was a very bad cold or Covid-19. I think it was Covid-19.’
Pictured: The opening ceremony of the 7th International Military Sports Council Military World Games on October 18, 2019 in Wuhan
It comes after French pentathlete Elodie Clouvel, 31, claimed she and her 27-year-old partner Valentin Belaud contracted the virus at the Games. Italian fencer Matteo Tagliariol also said everyone in his Wuhan apartment fell ill with ‘symptoms that looked like those of Covid-19’, which later spread to the 37-year-old’s son and girlfriend.
Pictured: French pentathlete Elodie Clouvel, 31, at the World Military Games in Wuhan, China in October 2019
Among dozens of other competitors contacted by the MoS, some said they had been told not to comment. Oliver Gorges, a triathlete from Luxembourg, said he became ill with flu-like symptoms and is now to undergo an antibody test this week to discover if he had contracted the coronavirus.
The first confirmed case of Covid-19 in China was at the start of December, but Gorges claims Wuhan’s streets were ‘nearly empty’ when he went for a cycle ride in the city. ‘It was a ghost town,’ he said. ‘There were rumours that the government warned the inhabitants not to go out.’
Pictured: The delegation of United States entering the stadium during the opening ceremony of October’s Military World Games
China admitted the disease could be spread between humans in January. Many other athletes at the Games commented on intense cleaning measures put in place in Wuhan, with almost 250,000 volunteers assisting the events.
Gorges, 22, had his temperature recorded on arrival at the airport, while athletes were forced to wash their hands every time they entered the canteen and were ordered not to take food out of the premises. ‘It was strange,’ he added.
However, Swedish pentathlete Melina Westerberg said several of her compatriots got sick during the games, but tested negative for the virus. ‘It was just a coincidence,’ she said. ‘We all felt safe.’