“Coronavirus Originated in Wuhan Laboratory”: French Nobel Prize-winning Scientist

Trump last week acknowledged a report that the novel coronavirus may have been accidentally leaked by an intern at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Wuhan| Luc Montagnier, French Nobel prize-winning scientist has provoked a fresh controversy by claiming that the SARS-CoV-2 virus came from a laboratory in Wuhan.

He also claimed that the leak is the result of an attempt to make a vaccine against the AIDS virus.

Professor Montagnier who co-discovered HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), in an interview given to French News channel and during a podcast by Pourquoi Docteur claimed the presence of elements of HIV in the genome of the coronavirus and even elements of the “germ of malaria” are highly questionable, as per a report in Asia Times.

“The Wuhan city laboratory has specialized in these coronaviruses since the early 2000s. Wuhan Institute of Virology has expertise in this area,” he was quoted as saying.

The theory that COVID-19 virus originated in the lab is making rounds for quite some time.

Last week, US President Donald Trump acknowledged Fox News report that the novel coronavirus may have been unintentionally leaked by an intern working at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China.

In an exclusive report based on unnamed sources, the Fox News has claimed that though the virus is a naturally occurring strain among bats and not a bioweapon, it was being studied in Wuhan laboratory.

The news channel said that the initial transmission of the virus was bat-to-human and the “patient zero” worked at the laboratory. The lab employee was unexpectedly infected before spreading the disease among the common people outside the lab in Wuhan city.

For the identification of the AIDS virus, Professor Montagnier with his college professor Francoise Barre-Sinoussi was awarded the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Also Read: South Korean Firm Confirms Making COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits At Haryana’s Manesar

However, is fresh claim on coronavirus received criticism from scientists including his colleagues.

Two years ago, the US embassy officials in China raised concerns about the inadequate biosafety at the Chinese government’s Wuhan Institute of Virology where deadly viruses and infectious diseases are studied, according to a recent Washington Post.

Located quite close to the Wuhan wet market, the institute is China’s first biosafety level IV lab, the US state department had warned in 2018 about “serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory”.

The United States remains the worst-hit country in the world with more than 800,000 infections and over 45,000 fatalities.

The global death toll from the coronavirus has now crossed over 1,70,000 people, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally.

At least 177,674 people have died from novel coronavirus and more than 2.5 million cases have been confirmed worldwide.

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