One of the Russian microbiologists has claimed that novel coronavirus is a consequence of Wuhan researchers who were doing absolutely crazy experiments in their laboratory.
World-leading expert, Petr Chumako, chief researcher at the Engelhardt Institute of Molecular Biology said that their aim was to study the virus pathogenicity and not any malicious purpose for deliberately creating a manmade killer. He said that researchers at the Wuhan Laboratory have been involved in developing various variants of coronavirus for more than ten years. Moreover, they did this to study the virus pathogenicity, not with the intention of creating pathogenic strains.
He said that the Wuhan researchers did absolutely crazy things like inserting in the virus genome, which makes the virus able to infect humans. The picture of the source and origin of COVID-19 is slowly emerging. He told in an interview that several inserts in the virus genome, substitutions of the natural genome sequence gave the coronavirus special properties.
Professor Chumakov is connected to the Federal Research Centre for Research and Development of Immunobiological Preparations. The spokesman of Vladimir Putin warned against the allegation related to the novel coronavirus that it is manmade. Dimitry Peskov said that in this crisis, no enough information is available that is scientifically proven, it is unacceptable to accuse anyone.
The head of the Russian Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA) Veronika Skvortsova was asked about the novel virus if it is manmade or not. In response to that, she said that the question isn’t easy to answer as it demands a thorough study. She said that a large number of genome fragment differs the novel coronavirus from its close type, SARS. There is approximately 94 % similarity and the rest 6% is different.
The head of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Yuan Zhiming rejected allegations that novel coronavirus has originated in their laboratory. In an interview with the state television, he said that there is no way that the novel coronavirus came out from their laboratory. He added that they know about their ongoing research and how they manage samples and virus.
The United States has accused China of hiding the emergence of the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 that it believes the virus originated from Wuhan lab, although it is denied by China, and researchers have not found any evidence to support their claim.
In the latest attack, U.S Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo blamed China for destroying the samples of coronavirus as part of the cover-up during the initial days of the COVID-19 outbreak. He said that Chinese authorities covered up how dangerous the novel coronavirus is. China didn’t report any sustained human-to-human transmission for almost a month until t spread to the whole province in China. The authorities censored those who tried to alert the world to stop the testing of new samples, they destroyed already existing samples.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has praised China for its swiftness and transparency in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. The disease was first recorded in Wuhan in December and infected more than 2.6 million people and killed more than 180,000 people worldwide.
Recent research indicates that pangolins are not responsible for the novel coronavirus pandemic. The study shows that the coronavirus genome isolated from the Manis javanica (Malaysian pangolin) is less similar to the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 as it has only 90 % genomic concordance.
It suggests that novel coronavirus is the result of the combination of two distinct viruses, one close to RaTG13 (horseshoe bat virus) and the other one closer to the pangolin virus.