The origins of the deadly coronavirus may be different than initially thought, after scientists accused a governmental research laboratory in China as the true source of the disease, according to Daily Mail. The accusations pose new implications and culpability for the epidemic, which has already claimed the lives of 1,669 people and infected 69,000 others while it spreads across the globe.
A new bombshell paper from the Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology says that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) could have spawned the contagion in Hubei province.
‘The possible origins of 2019-nCoV coronavirus,’ penned by scholars Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao claims the WHCDC kept disease-ridden animals in laboratories, including 605 bats.
In the paper, scientists alleged that the Wuhan Center for Disease Control (WHCDC) kept hundreds of disease-ridden bats in the lab and had been conducting experiments on the animals. The paper also claimed that researchers had possibly been infected by the bats, with one employee described as having “blood of bat…on his skin” after one of the animals attacked him.
One of the researchers at the WHCDC described quarantining himself for two weeks after a bat’s blood got on his skin, according to the report. That same man also quarantined himself after a bat urinated on him.
The paper had more details that incriminated the governmental lab.
“The WHCDC was also adjacent to the Union Hospital… where the first group of doctors were infected during this epidemic. It is plausible that the virus leaked around and some of them contaminated the initial patients in this epidemic, though solid proofs are needed in future study,” it continued.
Scientists behind the paper also pointed to the presence of ticks in the lab as a possible method for the virus to have originally spread from animal to human, in addition to the testimony from the Wuhan population suggesting that bats were rarely consumed as food.
And as well as the WHCDC, the report suggests that the Wuhan Institute of Virology could also have leaked the virus, as has previously been reported by MailOnline.
‘This laboratory reported that the Chinese horseshoe bats were natural reservoirs for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) which caused the 2002-3 pandemic,’ the report says.