WHO shreds notions coronavirus produced in China lab

The World Health Organisation, WHO has debunked speculations that the coronavirus was produced in a laboratory in Wuhan, China.

All available evidence to date, WHO said, suggests that the novel coronavirus, which has caused the ongoing pandemic, has a natural animal origin and is not a manipulated or constructed virus.

WHO said this in a daily situation report on Thursday.

“Many researchers have been able to look at the genomic features of SARS-CoV-2 and have found that evidence does not support that SARS-CoV-2 is a laboratory construct.”

It said if it were a constructed virus, its genomic sequence would show a mix of known elements, but “this is not the case.”

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The novel coronavirus, also known as SARS-CoV-2, was identified in early January and its genetic sequence shared publicly on Jan. 11-12, the WHO noted.

According to the UN agency, the full genetic sequence of the novel coronavirus from the early human cases and the sequences of many other viruses isolated from human cases from China and all over the world showed that the novel coronavirus has an ecological origin in bat populations.

Although the intermediate animal host has not been identified, the WHO said, all available evidence indicated the novel coronavirus has a zoonotic source.

To better understand the source of the outbreak in China, a number of investigations are currently underway or planned, WHO said.