China under pressure over probe into origins of COVID-19

Beijing: China is coming under increasing pressure over probe into the origins of the COVID-19, even as scientists are demanding more clarity to go into the roots of the global pandemic.

Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt on Wednesday spoke to Professor Nikolai Petrovsky, Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre, who said that the world’s scientific community had been “tricked by China”, reported New York Times Post.

Andrew Bolt said on his show The Bolt Report: “Finally a lot of experts are now saying well actually it does now look like this virus maybe did escape from that Chinese lab and China is feeling the heat.”

Professor Petrovsky told him that although some Chinese scientists have suggested that COVID-19 originated from pangolins, this is unlikely to be the case, reported New York Times Post.

“Everybody’s been trying to point the finger at the pangolins, but I think most virologists now accept that it’s unlikely that this virus came from a pangolin,” he said.

“There is a similarity between the spike proteins in the pangolin and in COVID-19, and in itself that could be considered highly suspicious.”

“Because the easiest way to get a pangolin spike protein and get it into a bat virus would be for someone in a lab to actually splice that gene out of the pangolin coronavirus and into the bat coronavirus,” said Petrovsky.

“That’s exactly the type of research that we do know, and it’s public knowledge, was being undertaken by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in recent years,” added Petrovsky.

Meanwhile, China has strongly rejected any suggestion that the virus was man-made, or connected to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, reported New York Times Post.

Petrovsky then went on to describe the work of his team in researching the virus.

He said, “We were trying to study the virus and we found this unusual feature that was exquisitely adapted to infect humans from the very first episodes, and that didn’t fit with the normal picture of a pandemic virus.”

A World Health Organisation (WHO) team investigating the origins of COVID-19 in China found no evidence that the virus leaked from the Wuhan lab.

However, the team was closely monitored by Chinese authorities during its investigation, and one of its members told UK news agency news that China refused to hand over key data from the initial outbreak, reported New York Times Post.

This week, the Biden administration pushed China for a further probe into a possible leak from the Wuhan lab.

However, China state media rejected the idea that COVID-19 had originated there and said that it is “a conspiracy created by US intelligence agencies”, reported New York Times Post.