Coronavirus in Spain -- in March 2019?

In a study not yet published in a journal, scientists have reported that the new coronavirus was present in wastewater in Barcelona, Spain in March 2019, a finding that, if confirmed, would show that the pathogen had emerged much earlier than previously thought.

But independent experts who reviewed the findings said they doubted the claim. The study was flawed, they said, and other lines of evidence strongly suggest the virus emerged in China late last year…

Several experts not involved in the research pointed out problems with the new study, which has not yet been subjected to the critical review by outside experts that occurs before publication in a scientific journal. They suggested that the tests might very well have produced false positives because of contamination or improper storage of the samples.