CHINA Chinese scientists dismiss COVID-19 lab leak theory

CHINA

Chinese scientists dismiss COVID-19 lab leak theory

Xinhua

13:04, July 17, 2021

BEIJING, July 17 (Xinhua) -- A group of scientists from Chinese universities and research institutes have dismissed the COVID-19 lab leak theory in an article published on Friday.

A staff member handles nucleic acid testing samples at a novel coronavirus detection lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

In the article published in the Chinese journal Science China Life Sciences, the scientists argued that SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that can lead to COVID-19, is unlikely to be man-made.

"In the comparison with SARS-CoV of 2003, SARS-CoV-2 is extremely well adapted to the human populations and its adaptive shift from the animal host to humans must have been even more extensive," they wrote.

"By the blind watchmaker argument, such an adaptive shift can only happen prior to the onset of the current pandemic and with the aid of step-by-step selection," the article read. "In this view, SARS-CoV-2 could not have possibly evolved in an animal market in a big city and even less likely in a laboratory."

"Discussions of the origin of SARS-CoV-2 need to factor in the long process of adaptive shift," the article added.

Chung-I Wu, a biology professor at Sun Yat-sen University in south China's Guangdong Province, is one author of the article.

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