A team of international scientists is going to investigate the chances of the coronavirus or COVID-19 leaked from a lab as they commit to discovering where the pandemic came from, as per reports. The researchers are going to take into account all kinds of theories regarding the origin of the virus amidst the claims that it escaped from a lab in China.
Most scientists claim that the virus is a 'zoonotic disease', which means that it is caused by the jumping of the virus from an animal to a human. The wet market of Wuhan wad first thought to be the breeding ground of the virus. According to experts, the virus first developed in bats before passing on to another creature, which in course of time came in contact with humans.
COVID-19 Origin Investigation
After it entered humans, the virus is likely to have gone through mutation to survive and then got out of control. There are also conspiracy theories that the virus was engineered by scientists or it has been around for years and killed people in the past. The investigation is a part of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission, a body that got established in July for giving practical solutions to tackle the pandemic.
A statement that described the priorities of the team listed number one as, "Origins: track down the origins of the virus in an open, scientific, and unbiased way not influenced by geopolitical agenda."
"The origins of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease, are yet to be definitively determined, but the evidence to date supports the view that SARS-CoV-2 is a naturally occurring virus rather than the result of laboratory creation and release. The possibility of laboratory involvement in the origins of the pandemic should be examined with scientific rigor and thoroughness, and with open scientific collaboration," it explained.
"The origins of the virus must be understood, both to help end the current pandemic and to prevent the next one," the statement further added. The research is also very much important as it may help to rule out the conspiracy theories regarding the virus. The virus that was first reported in Wuhan, China. After it turned out into a pandemic the two high-security labs in Wuhan, the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, have been in question regarding conspiracy theories.
US Fueled Conspiracy Theories
There were claims that the virus spread due to poor safety measures of the labs. The US also had added fuel to the conspiracy theories since the start of the pandemic. President Donald Trump had claimed that he has seen evidence that indicates China is to be blamed for the virus. Even the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo claimed that the virus originated in a Chinese lab but failed to provide evidence.
China rejected these claims and stated that the US is blaming them as they could not tackle the outbreak properly. The majority of scientists have the same opinion that the virus jumped from an animal to a human.
Dr. Peter Daszak, who is a British zoologist and the leader of the 'origin' arm of the Lancet COVID-19 Commission told The Telegraph that his team will conduct a proper investigation to find the origin of the virus. "What we can do is look at every possible theory on the origins of COVID-19 and say, 'what is the evidence for that?' And then we put all of those theories together and say, 'where is the preponderance of evidence?", he said.
"Is it for the virus coming from nature and spilling over into people and emerging that way? Or is it for some form of human involvement that involves a lab or biotechnology? Let's see where the evidence lies," he told The Telegraph. The virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 29.6 million people globally and claimed the lives of over 935,000 people worldwide in more than 170 countries.