A group of scientists from the South China University of Technology in Guangzhou have released information about COVID-19, or coronavirus, which indicates that the outbreak may have originated at the Center for Disease Control of Wuhan (WHCDC) and not in the seafood market as has been alleged so far.
According to the South Korean news network Arirang, the government’s laboratory, which is located about 300 yards from the animal market, may have engendered the contagion as a result of several animal investigations.
In the report published by the group of researchers led by Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao in the scientific journal ResearchGate, it was mentioned that research was conducted at the WHCDC facility on 605 bats that were captured in Hubei and Zhejiang provinces.
Xiao’s group studies mainly in the fields of cellular and molecular biomechanics, single-molecule biophysics and engineering.
The facilities mentioned in the research are also adjacent to the Union Hospital, where the first group of infected doctors since the beginning of the epidemic was transferred.
According to the British newspaper The Mirror, the report detailed that one of the researchers, known as JH Tian, “was once attacked by bats” and that in addition “the blood of a bat was on his skin,” which led to him being quarantined for a period of 28 days after “bats peed on him.”
The researchers also reported that a live tick was found on one of the bats, a parasite known to transmit infection after removing blood from a host animal.
They also said in their report that it’s possible, “the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proof is needed in future study.”
A second laboratory was mentioned as being located about 7.5 miles from the seafood market, which would have reported that Chinese horseshoe bats were natural hosts for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS. CoV) that caused the outbreak in 2003.
The laboratory referred to is the Wuhan Virology Institute, which is classified as P4, the highest classification that can be given to a biosecurity laboratory.
The research findings support that the coronavirus most likely originated in a laboratory in Wuhan.
As the Daily Mail pointed out, the document came to light after the outbreak already infected more than 69,000 people worldwide, leaving a death toll of 1,665 in China, where it originated.