In the year 2020, the world came to know about a deadly virus “Corona Virus or Covid-19”.This particular virus was first detected in Wuhan, in China’s Hubei province in 2019. A team of experts travelled to the city in January to find out the origin of the virus. Their research was based on samples and evidences provided by the Chinese officials but the team has difficulty in accessing any raw data. Wuhan Institution of Virology is the world’s leading authority on the collection, storage, and study of bat corona viruses.
Wuhan Lab Leak
Previously, it was predicted by WHO that the covid-19 virus has spread from Wuhan lab due to a leak. The World Health Organization (WHO) chief has suggested for further investigation on the popular theory about the laboratory leak, the director general of the WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also called out China for not cooperating with key data. Since the outbreak of the virus WHO scientists have investigating and trying to find the exact reason but in the report that was released recently stated that the possibility of the pandemic origin due to laboratory leak is least likely to happen.”Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts which I am ready to deploy,” Tedros said. After the release of the report, the US and other countries have called for an independent investigation about the origin “one that would be free from interference and undue influence,” The Wall Street Journal reported.
Peter Ben Embarek a WHO scientist said “the group didn’t do a full investigation or audit of any particular lab. The possibility of a lab leak did not receive the same depth of attention and work as other hypotheses about the virus origin.” The reports give a strong reason to why this is extremely doubtful that the virus escaped from the lab. The team did not find any evidence of the new corona virus that it existed at the Wuhan Institution of Virology where they were studying various corona virus prior to the first covid case was reported in 2019. But on Tuesday Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reopened the lab leak theory. He stated that even though the team has said that the leak is unlikely “I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough, as far as WHO is concerned all hypotheses remain on the table”.
In January and early February around 34 scientists from China, Japan, The United States and the United Kingdom went to Wuhan to assess data. They published a report stating that before the cases in 2019 came up two-third of the 170 people had symptoms in December were exposed to living or dead animals and 10% had travelled outside Wuhan. Chinese researchers sequenced the genomes of SARS-CoV-2 from few people and found that eight of the earliest sequences were identical and the infected people were linked to the Huanan market. They also found that some of the genomes were slightly different from those few early cases, some were related to the market and some were not which means that the virus may have been spreading in communities and accidentally occurring in people linked to the market. Another possibility is the outbreak at the animal farm from where infected animals with slightly different variation of SARS-CoV-2 might have been sold in the markets which increased the rate of infection in humans. According to the 2019 records badgers, giant salamanders, rabbits, two kinds of crocodile, etc were sold at the Huanan market. The Chinese official’s claim that no living mammals or illegal animals were sold from the market to the buyers but an unverified media report claims otherwise. Eddie Holmes a virologist at the University of Sydney in Australia published some photos after his trip there in 2014 of animals such as living raccoon dogs.
Chinese researchers collected around 1000 samples from the market in early 2020, samples from swabbing doors, toilets, rubbish bins, stalls that sold animals and vegetables, stray cats and mice. Majority of the people tested positive were from stalls that sold seafood, poultry and livestock, the researchers also took samples from 188 animals from 18 species at the market all of which were tested negative.
Investigation regarding the origin of the corona virus is still in progress, some theories have been released but overall The World Health Organization is considering every point.
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