WHO: China forced team to drop lab-leak theory of coronavirus

According to a scientist from World health Organisation (WHO), who led the group, Chinese researchers forced the WHO-led team probing the origins of Covid to drop the lab-leak theory.

Key Points

  • Scientist said this in the documentary, titled “The Virus Mystery”.
  • According to the scientists, Chinese researchers were against the theory that covid-19 pandemic emerged from a genetically modified virus that got leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

COVID-19 lab leak theory

This theory proposes that covid-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2 leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, China ending in the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists have remained skeptical of this idea and describe it as a remote possibility. They also cite a lack of supporting evidence.

How this theory developed?

This theory of lab-leak was developed from circumstantial evidence that, Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) is close in proximity to early outbreak of covid-19 pandemic. This idea also revolved around the secretiveness of Chinese government’s response towards the covid-19 pandemic. Now it is alleged that, scientists from WIV collected SARS-like coronaviruses performed undisclosed risky work on such viruses.  However, most of the scientists agree that it is a natural origin but some agree on possibility of lab leak and agree that this should be examined as part of ongoing investigations into the origin of COVID-19.

Background

Most of new infectious diseases starts with a spill over event from animals.  So, COVID-19 is considered to be “of probable animal origin”. It has been classified as a zoonotic disease. However, as natural reservoir of SARS‑CoV‑2 has not yet been found, this classification is considered as premature. First known human infections of SARS‑CoV‑2 were discovered in Wuhan, China. But original source of viral transmission to humans is still unclear.

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