BRITISH ministers are “no longer discounting” the theory that coronavirus originated after leaking from a Chinese bio research lab in Wuhan, according to reports.
Senior sources have reportedly admitted while the “balance of scientific advice” is that the virus originated naturally, a leak is also being considered by security services.
Theories about the origins of coronavirus being linked to a lab in Wuhan have been batted around since the early days out of the outbreak.
One member of Cobra, the emergency committee led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said security services are now considering a possible leak, reports The Mail on Sunday.
The source added however they did not dispute the virus was “zoonotic” - meaning it originated in animals.
Chinese officials have previously attempted to dismiss claims of a leak as "internet rumours".
The government source’s comments come as pressure ratchets up on China to come clean over the outbreak.
The member of Cobra, which receives classified briefings from British intelligence, said: “There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus.
“Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”
President Donald Trump raised the prospect that China deliberately caused the Covid-19 outbreak that’s killed over 38,000 Americans and said there should be consequences if the country is found to be “knowingly responsible.”
“Let’s see what happens with their investigation. But we’re doing investigations also,” Trump said at a White House news conference on Saturday. “If it was a mistake, a mistake is a mistake. But if they were knowingly responsible, yeah, then there should be consequences.”...……...More
MELBOURNE, (Reuters) - Australia on Sunday added to growing pressure on China over its handling of the novel coronavirus, questioning its transparency and demanding an international investigation into the origins of the virus and how it spread.
The coronavirus is believed to have emerged in a market selling wildlife in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has spread around the world infecting some 2.3 million people and killing nearly 160,000 of them, according to Reuters calculations.
Australia's foreign minister, Marise Payne, said her concern about China's transparency was at a "a very high point".
"The issues around the coronavirus are issues for independent review, and I think that it is important that we do that," Payne told ABC television.
"In fact, Australia will absolutely insist on that."....More