Senior sources in the Government have revealed they are now seriously considering whether coronavirus leaked from a Chinese laboratory. That the virus leaked from a laboratory, as indicated by this Express online article in February, is now “no longer being discounted” claim ministers. A Cobra member has approached the Mail on Sunday to reveal the Government did not rule out a leak from China’s only Level Four Bio-safety laboratory.
The member of Cobra said: “There is a credible alternative view to the zoonotic theory based on the nature of the virus.
“Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan.
“It is not discounted.’
Wuhan is home to the Institute of Virology, the most advanced laboratory of its type on the Chinese mainland.
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As China requested expertise to build its first deadly pathogen laboratory in 2017, scientists outside China worried about pathogens escaping.
This has added a biological dimension to geopolitical tensions between China and other nations.
It now seems ironic that George Gao, director of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology in Beijing, said: “Our contribution on the BSL‑4-level pathogens will benefit the world.”
There are already two BSL-4, Bio-safety Laboratory Four, in Taiwan, but the National Bio-safety Laboratory, Wuhan, would is the first on the Chinese mainland.
Scientists at the institute were the first to suggest that the virus’s genome was 96 percent similar to one commonly found in bats.
But despite its reputation for high security, a pre-print scientific study written by a group of Chinese scientists from the South China University of Technology sensationally claimed that Covid 19 spread from the high-security science laboratory in Wuhan and not a “wet market” in the city.
The report issued in early February by biological scientists from the prestigious university in Guangzhou, China, contradicts Beijing, who have even suggested the virus originated in the US.
Biologists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao, published a pre-print entitled “The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus”, in the report they described how “the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan”.
The report added: “We noted two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus in Wuhan, one of which was only 280 metres from the seafood market.
“We briefly examined the histories of the laboratories and proposed that the coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory.
“Our proposal provided an alternative origin of the coronavirus in addition to natural recombination and intermediate host.”
The scientists in the alarming report contested official findings that the pathogen first made the jump from bats to humans in the Wuhan wet market.
They said: “The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market.
“According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market.
“There was possible natural recombination or an intermediate host of the coronavirus, yet little proof has been reported.”
The researchers screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus.
These laboratories were within 280 meters of the market, one is called the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.
The research concludes that this laboratory hosted animals for research purposes, one of which was specialised in pathogens collection and identification.
Although Downing Street has said that they “did not recognise” the claims being made concerning a laboratory leak.