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China under pressure after call for probe into lab theory grows

Covid origin probe: China has come under pressure over renewed demand of probe into the origins of the coronavirus, which pushed the world into an unprecedented health crisis. Now, eminent scientists and leaders from different courtiers are demanding a fresh look into the cause of the global pandemic.

Also Read | US Intelligence have two theories on possible origin of coronavirus

Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre – Australia, reportedly said that the world’s scientific community had been “tricked by China”.

News agency ANI reported that Australian TV Host Andrew Bolt said on his show The Bolt Report: “Finally a lot of experts are now saying well actually it does now look like this virus maybe did escape from that Chinese lab and China is feeling the heat.”

Also Read | WHO mission member says ‘don’t rely’ on US virus intelligence

Speaking to Andrew Bolt, Professor Petrovsky said that although some Chinese scientists have suggested that Covid originated from pangolins, this is unlikely to be the case.

“Everybody’s been trying to point the finger at the pangolins, but I think most virologists now accept that it’s unlikely that this virus came from a pangolin,” he was quoted as saying by New York Times Post.

The professor said that there is a similarity between the spike proteins in the pangolin and in Covid, and in itself that could be considered highly suspicious. Because the easiest way, he said, to get a pangolin spike protein and get it into a bat virus would be for someone in a lab to actually splice that gene out of the pangolin coronavirus and into the bat coronavirus.

“That’s exactly the type of research that we do know, and it’s public knowledge, was being undertaken by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in recent years,” Petrovsky said.

Petrovsky said that his team was trying to study the virus and they found “this unusual feature that was exquisitely adapted to infect humans from the very first episodes, and that didn’t fit with the normal picture of a pandemic virus”.

In January this year, a team from World Health Organisation (WHO) visited China to investigate the origins of Covid but found no evidence that the virus had leaked from the Wuhan lab. However, turned out, that team was not given key data from the initial outbreak.

The call for fresh look into the origin of Covid started after a series of reports emerged suggesting lab leak theory could not be ruled out.

On May 26, US President Joe Biden said that he has asked his intelligence department to redouble their efforts to collect and analyze information on (Covid origin) that could bring the country closer to a definitive conclusion.

On Thursday, the US National Intelligence Office issued a statement saying that the intelligence community has coalesced around two likely scenarios. “Either it (coronavirus) emerged naturally from human contact with infected animals or it was a laboratory accident,” it said.

However, China has rejected any suggestion that virus escaped from the Wuhan lab.

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