The World Health Organisation (WHO) in its investigative report ‘Origins of SARS-Cov-2’ states that the seafood market in Wuhan City was the source of this Coronavirus outbreak or played a role in the initial amplification of the outbreak.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO said, “The team has confirmed that there was widespread contamination with SARS-CoV-2 in the Huanan market in Wuhan, but could not determine the source of this contamination.”
Interestingly, though, in a research paper brought out by two Chinese researchers Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao of the Joint International Research Laboratory of Synthetic Biology and Medicine, School of Biology and Biological Engineering, the South China University of Technology on February 6, 2020, have a different opinion to the theory floated by China and WHO on the Huanan Seafood Market.
According to these Chinese researchers, “The bats carrying CoV ZC45 were originally found in Yunnan or Zhejiang province, both of which were more than 900 kilometers away from the seafood market. Bats were normally found to live in caves and trees. But the seafood market is in a densely-populated district of Wuhan, a metropolitan of over 15 million people. The probability was very low for the bats to fly to the market. According to municipal reports and the testimonies of 31 residents and 28 visitors, the bat was never a food source in the city, and no bat was traded in the market. There was possible natural recombination or an intermediate host of the coronavirus, yet little proof has been reported.Batao Xiao Article
Was there any other possible pathway? We screened the area around the seafood market and identified two laboratories conducting research on bat coronavirus. Within 280 meters from the market, there was the Wuhan Center for Disease Control & Prevention (WHCDC). WHCDC hosted animals in laboratories for research purposes, one of which was specialized in pathogens collection and identification. In one of their studies, 155 bats including Rhinolophus affinis were captured in Hubei province, and the other 450 bats were captured in Zhejiang province. The expert in the collection was noted in the Author Contributions (JHT). Moreover, he was broadcasted for collecting viruses on nationwide newspapers and websites in 2017 and 2019. He described that he was once attacked by bats and the blood of a bat shot on his skin. He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14days.In another accident, he quarantined himself again because bats peed on him. He was once thrilled for capturing a bat carrying a live tick.
Surgery was performed on the caged animals and the tissue samples were collected for DNA and RNA extraction and sequencing. The tissue samples and contaminated trashes were sources of pathogens. They were only 280 meters from the seafood market. The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital where the first group of doctors was infected during this epidemic. It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in a future study.
The second laboratory was 12 kilometers from the seafood market and belonged to Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. This laboratory reported that the Chinese horseshoe bats were natural reservoirs for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus(SARS-CoV)which caused the 2002-2003 pandemic. The principal investigator (referring to Prof. Shi Zhengli) participated in a project which generated a chimeric virus using the SARS-CoV reverse genetics system and reported the potential for human emergence. Direct speculation was that SARS-CoV or its derivative might leak from the laboratory.Nature1
In summary, somebody was entangled with the evolution of the 2019-nCoV coronavirus. In addition to the origins of natural recombination and intermediate host, the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan. Safety levels may need to be reinforced in high-risk biohazardous laboratories. Regulations may be taken to relocate these laboratories far away from the city center and other densely populated places.”Nature2
The Chinese government censored the research paper of the Chinese researchers Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao. In fact, the research paper has since disappeared from the international scholarly data base Research Gate, not the first such incident for texts from China.
Both Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao are Chinese researchers but yet the China government and even the WHO rejected their theory over the origin of the coronavirus being the Wuhan Virology Lab and not the Huanan Seafood Market.