China denies coronavirus originated from Wuhan lab, UK and US intelligence officials investigating claims

DHARAMSALA, 20 April: China has dismissed claims that the COVID-19 originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, China. “We know what kind of research is going at the institute and how the institute manages viruses and samples. There is no way that virus came from us,” Yuan Zhiming, the director of Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan has said, PTI reported citing his interview on Chinese state-run CGTN TV channel. The director has also said in the report that since the Institute of Virology and the P4 lab is in Wuhan, “people can’t help but make associations”. “We have a strict regulatory regimen. We have code of conduct for research so we are confident of that,” he added. The report noted that the rejection of the claim by the director of the premier Chinese virology laboratory in Wuhan came amid growing suspicion across the world that the virus originated from the Wuhan lab. Additionally, China’s lack of transparency in its handling of the COVID-pandemic has triggered global outrage with the likes of US, UK, France and Germany all of them directing their anger towards Beijing. According to media reports, the US intelligence agencies are assessing whether the coronavirus that wreaks havoc around the world has escaped from a Chinese biological laboratory in Wuhan and that the UK intelligence has followed suit. Meanwhile, the editor-in-Chief of Germany’s largest paper Bild called out Beijing’s responsibility for the pandemic and issued a 130-billion-pound invoice for coronavirus damages. “You [Jinping], your government and your scientists had to know long ago that coronavirus is highly infectious, but you left the world in the dark about it,” Julian Reichelt has said in his piece titled “What China owes us.” French President Emmanuel Macron has questioned China’s handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak and said it was ‘naive’ to suggest that it had dealt better with the crisis, the Financial Times reported. He has claimed that Coronavirus was the result of a failed attempt by China to manufacture a vaccine against HIV in a lab. China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology became the centre of controversy Ever since the virus came to light in Wuhan in December last year. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization which has received widespread criticism for being China centric and parroting Chinese narratives over the COVID-19 Pandemic maintains that there is no evidence of the virus being created in a lab in China. According to John Hopkins University,  the COVID-19 pandemic has infected over 2,416,135 people across the world, caused 165,939 deaths while 635,311 people have recovered from the infection.

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