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Explained: Why China must come clean on the Wuhan lab theory

China is trying to resist and dismiss all evidence linking it to the origin of the Coronavirus pandemic. But with every passing day, suspicion is growing in the minds of people who believe that the virus originated in a Chinese lab. 

Explained Why China must come clean on Wuhan lab theory-VPN
New Delhi, First Published May 27, 2021, 5:56 PM IST

The world is now strongly questioning the origin of Covid-19, the pandemic that has left 3 million people dead and left millions more fighting for their lives and livelihoods. 

In recent times, people have again started questioning the virus's origins. The latest being United States President Joe Biden, who has directed the American intelligence community to redouble effort to determine where the virus came from. This comes in the backdrop of recent reports that a few scientists fell ill in the Wuhan Institute of Virology way back in November 2019 and that their symptoms are similar to that of Covid-19. 

Scientists want to trace the virus's origin to prevent future such instances. But, China's lack of cooperation and deliberate hiding of facts are further confirming the lab origins of the virus. 

Earlier, the natural origins of the virus were being traced, but scientists have failed to do so. Recent reports of scientist from the Wuhan Institute of Virology being hospitalized with Covid-19 symptoms in November 2019, a month before the first declared case of the pandemic, raised a few eyebrows. 

A Wall Street Journal article also traced back seven years where the Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers collected samples from a min in South-Western China where miners had contracted mysterious illness resembling pneumonia from bats, which again is similar to coronavirus.

Independent panel observations    

An independent panel was set up by a resolution of the 73rd World Health Assembly whose mandate was to evaluate impartially, independently and comprehensively the WHO-coordinated international health response to Covid-19 and further provide recommendations based on lessons learnt. 

Among the many members of this panel from various countries was Dr Zhong Nansha, advisor to the Chinese government during the Wuhan outbreak, who was presented with the highest state honour from China. So, a bias was evident.

Thus, when it made expected vague guesses to the origin of the virus is probably traced to bats and the immediate cycles being unknown, it did not come as a surprise. However, there was one paragraph in this report which raised suspicion. The report states that only less than 55 to 60 per cent of all the early cases reported could be traced back to exposure to wet markets. Surely, wet markets amplified the spread, but they cannot be the source. 

Though it justifies how the researchers of the Wuhan Institute sequenced the virus genome in weeks, it still did not answer the questions on origin.

Scientific argument supporting the Wuhan lab theory

In his article in the Medium, Nicholas Wade, a British Author and Science writer, explored a few possibilities of a possible lab leak. To summarize his thoughts:

Where it originated: Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, the place where the Wuhan Institute of Virology is situated. Moreover, virus samples collected seven years ago and similar to Covid-19 were from a mine situated 1500 KM. If it was a natural spillover, it should have started was Yunnan and not Wuhan. Moreover, some evidence suggests that Covid-19 started as early as September 2019, when bats are hibernating. So there is no proof that it affected any other species before crossing the human barrier. WIV has also been researching bat coronaviruses that attach to human cells. They had also sampled many bats in the Hubei province, and none had viruses close to COVID-19. 

The Evolution of the Virus: Unlike SARS, which had successive changes in spike protein to develop into a dangerous pathogen, the Covid-19 virus did not change much until the recent mutations. It was well-adapted to human cells right from its origin, making people believe that it may have been introduced from a single source. It was similar to the later stages of the SARS pandemic. 

The Furin Cleavage Site: As per a report on India Today (, the Furin cleavage site can help find the origins of the virus.

The spike protein in a virus has two components, S1 and S2 ad they both have different roles. For a virus to hijack the protein-making machinery of an affected cell, it has to cut apart the S1 and S2 subunits for it to generate new viruses. It is at this junction between S1 and S2 that the Furin Cleavage Site lie. 

Of all the known viruses related to SARS, only Covid-19 possesses the Furin Cleavage Site. All other viruses cleaved through a different mechanism and different times.

Considering the virus did not mutate much before entering humans, a natural origin of this seems impossible.

Countries seeking probe into the origin of the virus

United States President Joe Biden has asked for an immediate study on the virus's origin by his intelligence community and sought a report to be submitted in 90 days. The Chinese side has condemned this move as a politicization of the pandemic.

Earlier, the European Union drafted a resolution on the virus's origins, which was signed by over 120 countries, including India. The countries include The European Union and its Member States, the African Group and its Member States, Albania, Australia, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. 

Australia played a huge role in this resolution and has also been subjected to severe economic bullying by China. China has imposed a heavy duty on Barley imports and has stopped exporting beef from four large Australian suppliers. 

There have been several complaints against China from the start of the pandemic.

First, they did not inform timely of the disease. Secondly, they had stopped all national movement to and from Wuhan. Why did they then continue international flights? Why did they oppose any research on the origin of the virus? Its clampdown on all countries supporting an impartial probe on the virus also has suspicions. China's resistance to any impartial probe and its reluctance to participate and cooperate with international agencies is something the world is not taking lightly.

NOTE: Asianet News humbly requests everyone to wear masks, sanitize, maintain social distancing and get vaccinated as soon as eligible. Together we can and will break the chain #ANCares #IndiaFightsCorona

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