A mysterious unproven theory behind the origin of novel coronavirus has been lurking around for quite some time and has recently got much influence after U.S. President started emphasizing on taking strict action against China for leaking the virus. So, was the novel coronavirus nCoV-2019 created in a Wuhan lab, or was it a naturally evolved strain?
Some Bizzare conspiracy theories suggest that the novel coronavirus was intentionally created and released by China as a bioweapon to dominate the world economy, while some rumors indicate that China had been silent all this time even though the man-made coronavirus virus leak was known to them. These ideas and suggestions make wonderful headlines but is there any ring of truth? To connect this pandemic with virus leak from Wuhan lab, scientists, and govt. officials have numerous unknowns to rule out or establish.
According to a news article, some sources reported that nCoV likely originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology but was not man-made. Reports indicated that a naturally occurring coronavirus strain (SARS-CoV-2) was being studied in that lab and infected an employee, considered as ‘patient-zero’. These claims were made based on the early-action details of China government. To further extrapolate indications of inadequate biosafety, U.S. embassy officials told the press that they had already made some complaints regarding unethical practices in Wuhan research facilities two years ago. Even though there’s no current conclusive proof, these circumstances are being taken very seriously by the U.S government.
These evidence hint at the possibility that nCoV might have started infecting from the Wuhan research facility rather than from the meat market. But nevertheless, researchers have bunked off any claim of the virus to be man-made. Articles in Lancet and ScienceNews stated that available evidence suggests the virus to have a natural animal origin rather than being manipulated or constructed in a lab. Although the research community has unanimously agreed on the natural origin of nCoV, scientific inquiry persists on finding out the precise circumstances of this origin.
According to Racaniello, a professor at Columbia University and host of This Week in Virology, raised a rightful concern that if this virus was leaked from the lab, everyone in that lab would have been infected and all would have gotten sick, which was not the case. Racaniello also stated that the patient-isolated nCoV was found to be very similar to RaTG13, a bat virus discovered in China (2013), thus showing a common ancestor of both viruses. The coronavirus could not have been man-made and this had no scientific backing. That being said, like Racaniello, a large section of the global population believes that the claims of a Chinese lab-leak are more based on political rivalry rather than scientific curiosity.