Recent reports claiming that scientists at the Wuhan lab admitted to being bitten by bats during research has created new controversy. The scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, largely believed to be the source of coronavirus leak, were caught on video with blood oozing out of the bat bite marks.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported from the Wuhan province of China. While it was previously being believed that coronavirus originated from the wet market located near the lab, soon fingers started getting pointed at the Chinese lab as the place of origin of the virus where experiments were being carried out on bats.
Video Was Part of China's Documentary on Shi Zhengli
Taiwan News reported that the state-run TV footage revealed that researchers were seen handling bats and collecting its feces in the field without wearing gloves, masks and other PPE.
The footage included a clip of virus expert Cui Jie talking about how a bat's fangs once went right through his glove. He described the sting as feeling "like being jabbed with a needle."
A scientist was also shown handling samples with bare hands as the narrator explained the risk of injury "still exists," and that team members received rabies vaccine before each field sampling, the report said.
The Sun reported that the video, which was first appeared in China on 29 December, 2017, to celebrate its "bat woman" director Shi Zhengli, also included the footage of a researcher's badly swollen limb from a likely bat bite. The scientists also admitted getting spattered with blood during the research work.
Where is Patient Zero?
The theory of coronavirus getting leaked from the Chinese lab gained momentum after US President Joe Biden asked the US Intelligence officials to redouble their efforts in probing the origin of the virus.
Earlier, Dr Anthony Fauci, virus expert, had also said that he was "not convinced" Covid developed naturally and called for a full investigation amid claims of a cover-up.
After severe public backlash over the 123-page report following the WHO-China joint investigation into the origin of the virus, WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus ordered a new probe. The earlier report ruled out the possibility of virus getting leaked from Wuhan lab as "extremely unlikely".
"I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough. Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions. Although the team has concluded that a laboratory leak is the least likely hypothesis, this requires further investigation, potentially with additional missions involving specialist experts, which I am ready to deploy," said the WHO chief.