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Spending on PCR tests in Wuhan soared several months before the first official reporting of COVID-19 cases in China, suggesting the virus was already circulating in communities during the northern summer (June to August) in 2019 before it was made public. An Australian cybersecurity firm, Internet 2.0, tracked the sales of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests over several years, revealing an almost 50 percent increase between 2018 to 2019—the year before the COVID-19 outbreak spread across the world. Sales of PCR tests, used to detect specific viruses, were at 19.1 million yuan (AU$4 million)  in 2016, followed by 29.1 million (AU$6 million) in 2017, 36.7 million in 2018, then 67.4 million (AU$14 million) in 2019. “These findings challenge existing assumptions around when the pandemic began and support further investigation. The study concludes that a significant increase in spending in PCR equipment correlates to the spread of COVID-19,” according to the …