COVID-19 origins: Debates continue as ill Wuhan staff reports emerge

COVID-19 origins: Debates continue as ill Wuhan staff reports emerge

A new intelligence report found that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and went to a hospital in November 2019.

The talks about the COVID-19 origins remain apparent even after more than a year into the pandemic. It makes total sense, though, as many people reportedly take the latest findings as inconclusive.

Despite all the reports and studies, a lot of individuals, especially officials, still call for a more in-depth probe into the origins of the pandemic. The debates and speculations have even grown further these past few days following the emergence of a new U.S. intelligence, according to CNN.

What the latest report says

The publication said that the latest report found that researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology got sick and fell ill in November 2019. They reportedly had to go to a hospital but did not disclose the reasons behind it.

Sources, who got briefings on the intelligence, stated that the severity of the symptoms of the three researchers “could fuel further debate” about the pandemic and COVID-19 origins. This could reportedly “add weight” to the calls on more probes on whether the virus came from the laboratory.

As noted, China previously reported to the World Health Organization that their first recorded patient with COVID-like symptoms was on December 8, 2019. In the end, though, one of the sources asserted that “there is still nothing definitive.”

A “strong denial” from Wuhan

The reports first came from the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. Following the headlines that have emerged after, the Wuhan National Biosafety Lab director “issued a strong denial” earlier this week.

Yuan Zhiming told Global Times that the intelligence is a “complete lie,” adding that he had read it. He also said that they are all “groundless” claims and that he does not know where such information came from.

Similarly, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian refuted the reports on the same day. He, then, accused the U.S. of “hyping up the lab leak theory.”

He also reiterated the recent reports from the World Health Organization. The 120-page document, which emerged later in March, concludes that a “lab leak was extremely unlikely.”

The World Health Organization’s conclusions about the COVID-19 origins

On March 30, the health organization published a report, carrying the title of Origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The findings in the documents came from the investigators under the same agency, who traveled to China from January 14 to February 10.

Apart from deeming the lab-leak theory as “extremely unlikely,” the report states that the virus “likely” passed through an intermediate host. But, despite the conclusions, several nations, later on, “challenged” the study, as they questioned the validity of the report about the COVID-19 origins.

Images courtesy of Osmosis/YouTube

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