Coronavirus is not man-made, only the rumours are

By analysing the public genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2 , researchers have convincingly concluded that "SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus" | Illustration - Prathap Ravishankar

Debunking the conspiracy theory that the SARS-CoV-2 was a secret Chinese bio-weapon that somehow escaped from labs into the community, a recent research has put the rumours to rest and asserts that the origin of the virus is 'natural'.

Published online on March 11 in the reputed Nature Medicine, the team* of researchers led by Kristian Andersen, associate professor of immunology and microbiology at Scripps Research Institute, California, US, concluded that the SARS-CoV-2 strain presently ravaging the world "originated through natural processes".

SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei province, China in early December 2019 and has currently spread to 110 countries. As of March 18, 2020, around 207,860 novel pneumonia COVID-19 cases have been confirmed, and about 8,657 deaths have been reported.

The proximity of the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a research institute under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, to the outbreak locale led to speculations in media that "coronavirus may have leaked from a lab".

To continue reading this article...

You have to be a Premium Subscriber

Start your subscription with a free trial

Enjoy unlimited Eighth column, archives and games on
The Federal.com and The Federal APP and many more features.
You will also be supporting ethical and unbiased journalism.
After trial subscription plans start from Rs. 99
Get breaking news and latest updates from India
and around the world on thefederal.com
FOLLOW US: