Researchers have been analyzing the several possibilities in which the new coronavirus could have originated. The experts believe that the virus is an animal to human spillover known as the "zoonotic spillover." Experts also believe that there are multiple such viruses that are dormant in the nature coming from animals like the bats.
Peter Daszak, an expert, who has been working on China for the past ten years has said during an interview with a prominent news media that the virus is from the bats, but it is unsure as to which species of the bat it belongs to.
As the threat of the disease spreading wide grew researchers studied extensively to come to the understanding that "2019-nCoV is 96 per cent identical at the whole-genome level to a bat coronavirus." This was published in an article in early February. It was later pushed aside by public health scientists as a conspiracy theory. Several have continued to debate on the course of the virus.
Scientists have previously predicted the return of SARS virus
There have been continuous investigations about the spillover. In the recent interview with CNN, Daszak says that he is confident that the virus is from bats. "We just don't know where exactly it originated -- which bat species exactly. And we don't know how many others there are out there that could emerge in the future," said Daszak about the zoonotic spillover to the media.
Another article written in the year 2013 has noted the possibility of a SARS-like pandemic happening again in the future. The 2002 SARS pandemic was also a respiratory disease that could have come from the Chinese horseshoe bat. Back then along with Daszak and a few other researchers found that the disease could have originated from the bat species. Scientists have since then believed that bats could be a "reservoir" of viruses that are responsible for diseases like severe acute respiratory syndrome.
Bats have been seen to have been a source to several viruses such as Nipah, Ebola, MERS and SARS. The SARS virus is said to have spread from the bats to civets and from there to the humans. The experts presently believe a similar spillover when it comes to COVID-19. Daszak believes that the bat would have infected a farm animal before it being spread to the humans through the wet market.
After SARS Daszak in 2013 had said that the virus could come back and the spillover could happen yet again. He had also warned the people not to eat bats or hunt bats because of the hidden chance that it could bring a new pandemic with another virus.