China denied allegations that the novel coronavirus originated in a laboratory near Wuhan. According to Associate Press, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian cited the head of the World Health Organization and other unidentified medical experts as saying there was no evidence that transmission began from the lab and there was "no scientific basis" for such claims.

Zhao told reporters at a daily briefing on Thursday that they believe this is a scientific issue and it requires the professional assessment of scientists and medical experts.

The spokesman added that China will continue to work together with other countries to help and support each other. China has also strongly denied claims that the country delayed reporting on the virus outbreak in Wuhan late last year and underreported case numbers.

According to reports, China has around 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths due to coronavirus.