Covid-19 Likely Came From Chinese Laboratory Leak, Says US Energy Dept; China Reacts | World News

New Delhi: The Covid-19 virus, which has so far killed more than 68 lakh people around the world, most likely emerged from a Chinese laboratory leak, a new report has claimed. The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday (February 26, 2023) that the US Energy Department had concluded the Covid-19 pandemic likely arose from a bio laboratory in Wuhan, an assessment Beijing has denied. 

The department made its judgment with “low confidence” in a classified intelligence report recently provided to the White House and key members of Congress, the Journal said, citing people who had read the intelligence report. 

Four other US agencies, along with a national intelligence panel, still judge that Covid-19 was likely the result of natural transmission, while two are undecided, the Journal reported.

China rejects lab-leak theory on Covid-19 origin

Reacting to the Wall Street Journal report, China on Monday rejected that the Covid-19 virus may have leaked from a bio laboratory in Wuhan, saying the origins-tracing of the pandemic “is about science and should not be politicised.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said the international experts have considered the theory that the pandemic might have leaked from a Chinese laboratory as “extremely unlikely”.

She said it is a science-based, authoritative conclusion reached by the experts of the WHO-China joint mission after field trips to the lab in Wuhan and in-depth communication with researchers.

Question of how coronavirus first emerged remains a mystery.

Over three years since the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, the question of how the virus first emerged remains a mystery.

It is suspected that the coronavirus may have escaped, accidentally or otherwise, from a laboratory in the central Chinese city of Wuhan where the virus was first recorded.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) has been studying coronaviruses in bats for over a decade.

Earlier in 2021, a World Health Organization (WHO) team of experts visited Wuhan amid the raging controversy over the lab-leak theory and stated in its report that the leak from the Wuhan bio lab was the “least likely hypothesis”.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, however, said that the Wuhan lab leak allegation required further probe and that “all hypotheses remain on the table”.

Globally, as per the WHO, there have been as many as 75,72,64,511 confirmed cases of Covid-19, including 68,50,594 deaths.

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