It was in late 2019 that the first case of Covid infection was detected in Wuhan, China. At that time, no medical experts in the world would have predicted that this viral infection will emerge as a global pandemic. Ever since the day of the pandemic outbreak, several conspiracy theorists and some leading medical experts have been claiming that coronavirus could be actually a Chinese bioweapon that accidentally escaped the Wuhan virological institute. As the mystery surrounding the origin of Covid looms up, a team of scientists from the United States and the United Kingdom has demanded a fresh probe into Wuhan lab leak theory.
Scientists not ruling out the laboratory leak theory
Scientists including Ravindra Gupta, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Cambridge, and Jesse Bloom, who studies the evolution of viruses at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center suggested that more investigation is needed to determine the exact origin of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a letter to the journal Science, David Relman, professor of microbiology at Stanford revealed that theories surrounding the accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover are still viable. The authors of the letter also noted that the WHO investigation had not made a balanced consideration of the theory that it may have come from a laboratory incident.
"As scientists with relevant expertise, we agree with the WHO director-general (5), the United States and 13 other countries (6), and the European Union (7) that greater clarity about the origins of this pandemic is necessary and feasible to achieve. We must take hypotheses about both natural and laboratory spillovers seriously until we have sufficient data. A proper investigation should be transparent, objective, data-driven, inclusive of broad expertise, subject to independent oversight, and responsibly managed to minimize the impact of conflicts of interest," wrote the scientists in the letter.
Did China release coronavirus intentionally?
In September 2020, Chinese virologist Dr Le-Meng Yan had sensationally claimed that coronavirus was intentionally released from the laboratory as a bioweapon. Yan claimed that China's aim is to deny the allegations and use misinformation to mislead the world when people start realizing the artificial origin of the pandemic.
The virologist claimed that the leaked documents show that genetic engineering of viruses in 2015 is not the beginning of China's study of bioweapons, but it is offering crucial evidence regarding the country's involvement in the trigger of the Covid pandemic.