China has rejected claims by various media outlets that novel coronavirus (COVID-19 ) may have originated from China’s biological warfare program and it is a ‘bio-weapon’ leaked from a lab.
“Chinese people are fighting an all-out war against COVID-19 not just for its own sake, but also for global public health security. At this particular time, it is either with malicious intentions or absurd ignorance that certain individuals and media outlets are spreading such sensational hearsay,” Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang said during the weekly briefing on Friday.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has also said repeatedly there is no evidence that COVID-19 was engineered in a laboratory or created by the manufacture of biological weapons. Over 2,200 people have died from novel coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China
“Besides the war on the virus, we’re also battling conspiracy theories. Many of the world’s leading medical experts also believe that such allegations as ‘laboratory leakage’ or ‘biological weapons development’ have no scientific basis whatsoever,” Shuang asserted.
On February 18, the Lancet, a well-reputed international medical journal, published a joint statement signed by 27 of the world’s leading scientists in the field of public health in support of the Chinese research, health and medical professionals fighting the outbreak, strongly condemning the conspiracy theories circulating online.
According to the joint statement, scientists from multiple countries analyzed genomes of the causative agent, and they overwhelmingly concluded that the coronavirus originated in wildlife, as have other emerging pathogens.
“Conspiracy theories do nothing but create fear, rumours, and prejudice that jeopardize global collaboration in the fight against this virus. These scientists also call for respect for the professional advice of the WHO.
“I want to emphasize that what we need in the face of an epidemic is science, rationality and cooperation. We must seek the triumph of science over ignorance, dispel rumours with truth, and replace prejudice with cooperation. We hope the international community while fighting COVID-19 together, will continue to combat conspiracy theories and other ‘political viruses’.”