WORLD Coronavirus more likely to be product of nature than of lab: media

WORLD

Coronavirus more likely to be product of nature than of lab: media

Xinhua

14:42, June 09, 2021

WASHINGTON, June 8 (Xinhua) -- The novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is "more likely to be a product of nature" than one of a laboratory, an article written by two US virology researchers in the Washington Post has said.

This undated handout image obtained March 28, 2021, courtesy of The National Institue of Allergy and Infectious Diseases/ NIH shows a transmission electron microscope image of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the US, with virus particles (round gold objects) shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab, the spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like.

The article said that some renowned evolutionary virologists found in March 2020 that it was "overwhelmingly likely that this virus had never been manipulated in any laboratory," and that the virus "spilled over" from natural reservoir host to humans.

The study also found that key elements of the virus did not appear engineered, and the furin cleavage site of the virus "has odd features that no human would design," said the article published last week.

With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, "the evolutionary trajectory of SARS-CoV-2 further undermines claims that the virus is obviously artificial and designed for human transmission," said the article, adding that the World Health Organization report on COVID-19 origins published earlier this year "further bolsters the natural-origin hypothesis."

"This virus is more likely to be a product of nature than a product of a laboratory. Letting politics lead us toward other conclusions won't help keep anyone safer," the article said.

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