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New reports from Chinese scientists claim that a lab within 280 meters of the Huanan Seafood Market – where the coronavirus is believed to have originated – may be the possible ground zero for the deadly virus.
Scientists Botao Xiao and Lei Xiao from South China University of Technology in Guangzhou have recently published a paper that reveals the possible source of the coronavirus.
The research paper collected testimonies from 31 residents and 28 visitors, and found bats were never to be a source of food at the seafood market. The paper reveals that a worker at the lab known as the Wuhan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (WCDCP) had come in contact with the blood and urine of bats in a few unfortunate incidents. The lab is said to have used animals for research purposes, including bats.
Workers at the WCDCP regularly extracted bat tissue samples, together with other labs in the area. The worker had reportedly been attacked by bats and had bat bloodstains on his skin.
“He knew the extreme danger of the infection so he quarantined himself for 14 days,” the scientists wrote. The same worker had to quarantine himself for 14 days after another incident.
A number of early infections are said to be reported at the Union Hospital, situated close to the WCDCP, with a group of doctors to be the first people infected by the coronavirus.
Theories on the virus being man-made
Several claims of the coronavirus being man-made to pose as a powerful biological weapon have surfaced in recent weeks.
According to Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton, the coronavirus is linked to the Wuhan National Biosafety Laboratory which houses China’s only cellular-level biosafety level 4 facility.
“We don’t know where it originated, and we have to get to the bottom of that. We also know that just a few miles away from that food market is China’s only biosafety level 4 super laboratory that researches human infectious diseases,” Cotton said.
Cotton, however, has also acknowledged that there is no evidence but has regardless urged Chinese authorities to look into the claims.
US Chinese ambassador dismisses claims
In response, Chinese ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai has dismissed Senator Cotton’s claims, calling it panic-mongering. Cui also stated, however, that China does not know where the coronavirus originated from.