Chinese researchers are now refuting that the deadly coronavirus originated at a wet market in Wuhan. After the US alleged that the coronavirus was manufactured in a lab in China, it has staunchly denied the claims. Scientists from WHO supplemented this too.
A leading Chinese virologist Shi Zhengli, known as ‘Bat Woman’, in a television interview warned that such viruses are just the “tip of the iceberg” and expressed regret over science being “politicised”.
Zhengli, who specialises in studying bats and viruses associated with them, mysteriously went missing on May 6. This sparked speculation that the novel coronavirus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Zhengli further said that in a study of viruses, scientists and the government need to be transparent and cooperative with their findings, adding that even after the coronavirus retreats, the world should be prepared for outbreaks caused by bat-borne coronaviruses.
Zhengli also refuted rumours about her defection to the west.
A team of scientists consisting of members from Shanghai's scientific research and medical institutions including the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Centre, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine and the Shanghai Institute of Haematology delved deep into origins of the pathogen. One researcher from the team who wished to remain anonymous said, “There has been no direct evidence that the cross-species COVID-19 transmission originally occurred in the Huanan market in Wuhan, although it was a probable place for human-to-human transmission of the virus because of its relatively high crowd density.”
“The origin of the virus remains unknown based on current published data,” Zhengli added. “It still needs scientists' continuous effort in determining the intermediate host of coronavirus, and carrying out comprehensive and detailed virus-tracing studies”.
China is resisting mounting pressure from the US and the leaders of many countries for an inquiry into the origin of the virus.