Chinese Researcher Claims Covid-19 May Have Originated From Humans
The origins of Covid-19 have been a source of debate and speculation since the beginning of the pandemic. During a press conference organized by the Chinese State Council to discuss the origin of the COVID-19 virus, Tong Yigang, a researcher at the Beijing University of Chemical Technology, claimed that the virus may have originated from humans.
According to Yigang, the genetic sequences of viral samples taken from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, where the pandemic is believed to have started, were “almost identical” to those of coronavirus-infected patients. This implies that Covid-19 may have emerged from humans.
Yigang revealed that from January 2020 to March 2020, researchers had collected over 1,300 environmental and frozen animal samples from the Huanan Seafood Market. From these samples, three strains of virus were isolated. Additionally, Yigang stated that recent studies pointing to racoon dogs as the origin of the Covid-19 virus did not have enough supporting evidence.
The press conference was also attended by Zhou Lei, a researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. Lei urged for international scientific collabration to investigate the origins of the virus and emphasized that the place where Covid-19 was initially detected may not necessarily be its source.
China has been criticized in the past for blocking international investigations into the origins of the virus. The World Health Organization has said that it still does not have key data from China about the beginnings of the outbreak, which it has called “simply inexcusable.”
Debates surrounding the origins of the virus recently re-emerged following an assessment last month by the US Department of Energy that it was most likely the result of an accident from a laboratory. However, Zhou on Saturday refuted the lab leak theory, saying it is “extremely unlikely.”
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently said that the organization will continue pushing until it finds an answer to how the Covid-19 pandemic started, following a report suggesting it had abandoned the search. “We need to continue to push until we get the answer,” he told reporters.
The debate around the origins of the Covid-19 virus continues, with many unanswered questions and theories. However, it is important to continue pursuing answers to this crucial question in order to better understand and combat the virus.