Novel coronavirus is not 'manipulated or constructed' in labs: WHO spokesperson


Staff members do nucleic acid testing work at a novel coronavirus detection lab in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, Feb. 22, 2020. (File photo: Xinhua/Cheng Min)

GENEVA, April 21 (Xinhua) -- All available evidence suggests that the new coronavirus has an animal origin, and is not a virus manipulated or constructed in a lab or somewhere else, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Fadela Chaib said here on Tuesday.

"It (the novel coronavirus) most probably has its ecological reservoir in bats, but how the virus came from bat to human is still to be seen, to be discovered," the spokesperson told journalists during a virtual press briefing.

"There is certainly an intermediary host, another animal, that transmitted the disease from bats to humans," she added.

She underlined that the WHO is combating two pandemics. "We have the pandemic with the virus, but we are also combating 'infodemic'. And when you have a new virus, like this one, it is to be expected that a lot of spurious theories about the origin of the virus be relayed."