Fresh evidence of China’s shocking cover-up of the pandemic outbreak has been found in censored media reports from Wuhan.

Samples taken from sick patients and analysed by at least five laboratories had confirmed the existence of a lethal new coronavirus before China told global health authorities about an infectious disease that it claimed was unidentified.

The reports obtained by The Mail on Sunday reveal that one team even found the virus was ‘clearly contagious’ while others had unravelled its genetic composition – vital for developing diagnostic tests and vaccines.

Yet it took a further ten days for officials to admit there was a novel coronavirus and three weeks before Beijing confirmed on January 20 that it was spread by humans.