A vaccine scientist demands an investigation into the origins of Covid-19 after the research team found corona virus “Uniquely adapted to infect humans”.
Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, a researcher who heads the Australian team, said the virus “is not typical of normal zoonoses. [animal to human] infection “has since emerged with an” extraordinary “ability to enter the human body from day one.
He added that the virus could be transmitted by animals in “strange natural events,” but the theory that the virus originated in the laboratory could not be ruled out.
Petrovsky, a professor of medicine at Flinders University in Adelaide, heads the biotech research unit that will begin human trials for the coronavirus vaccine next month.
He said: “I have not seen the zoonosis virus that has behaved like this before.”
The professor told Letters on Sundays that Covid-19 “adapted to infect humans without the need to evolve”.
Prof. Petrovsky suggested the virus could be transmitted to humans due to natural causes, but he did not dismiss the idea that this pandemic might have been created in a laboratory.
He added: “The implications might not be good for scientists or global politics, but just because the answers might cause problems, we can’t run away from them.
“At present there is no evidence of leakage but enough indirect data for us. There is still a possibility until it is ruled out.”
The Wuhan Virology Institute, in the Chinese city where Covid-19 was first identified, has three types of bats living on site, but none of them match the new contagion that is causing chaos around the world, the director said.
During an interview with the CGTN broadcaster, Wang Yanyi said that the center had “isolated and obtained several coronaviruses from bats”.
He explained: “Now we have three types of live viruses … But their highest similarity with SARS-CoV-2 is only 79.8 percent.”
The laboratory said it received an unknown virus sample on December 30th, Telegraph report.
Wang said in an interview that before receiving a sample in December, their team had never “discovered, researched or stored a virus”.
“The fact is, like other people, we didn’t even know the virus existed,” he said.
“How can it leak from our lab when we never have it?”
The disease, which appears to originate from the seafood market in Wuhan city in China, has infected more than 5.4 million people worldwide and killed 344,206, according to the latest figures.
Richard Ebright, one of the world’s leading biosecurity experts, told The Mail on Sunday that the possibility of new viruses having rare components and occurring naturally was “possible – but impossible”.
Prof. Petrovsky said it was very important to find the source of the virus and that “no one can say laboratory leakage is not a possibility”.
He also added that if Sars-CoV-2 was a natural event, another related virus could erupt again from the same source, causing “far worse mortality rates”.
Last month, Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, said that there must be an independent international investigation into the source of the pandemic in China.
The initial movement proposed by the European Union and Australia called on the World Health Organization and the World Organization for Animal Health to carry out “scientific and collaborative field missions” and “identify the source of zoonotic viruses and introduction routes to human populations, including the possible role of intermediary hosts”.
A British source said that a resolution jointly sponsored by London would now request a review of international responses and was supported by China and the US.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “There needs to be a pandemic review, not a few so that we can ensure that we are better equipped for a global pandemic in the future.
“Resolution at the World Health Assembly is an important step towards this.”
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