The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Tuesday said that the novel coronavirus is likely to have originated in bats and not manipulated or produced in a lab-based on the evidence so far, according to media reports.
“All available evidence suggests the virus has an animal origin and is not manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else,” WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib said at a press briefing in Geneva as quoted by Reuters.
She further said that there was a high probability that the virus was of animal origin and had most likely originated in bats. The way in which the virus was transmitted from bats to humans was yet to be discovered, she said as per the report.
Multiple countries across the globe have been looking for answers regarding the origin of the virus. The United States President Donald Trump said last week the US government was trying to probe whether the virus had come from a lab in Wuhan. China on Monday had rejected Trump’s demand to probe the origin of the virus by sending an investigation team to Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
A recent report by the Fox News had claimed that though the virus had been accidentally leaked from a Wuhan laboratory where it was being studied based on unnamed sources.
In another instance, French Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier had stirred a controversy after his interview with French CNews channel where he had said that the coronavirus has come from Wuhan’s lab, which was tested to develop a vaccine against the AIDS virus, as per media reports.
The Wuhan Institute of Virology had dismissed rumours that the virus had been produced in their lab and that they had allowed it to escape, according to the Reuters report.
Nations across the globe have been demanding more transparency from China regarding the origin of the virus.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday urged China to be as transparent as possible about the origin of the novel coronavirus
Australia’s Foreign Minister, Marise Payne on Sunday also called for a global inquiry into the origin of the coronavirus and China’s handling of it in an interview with ABC Insiders. China rejected Payne’s call for the independent review.
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